Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
Yamaha MotoGP riders start 2005 in Sepang

Sepang, Malaysia

Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi and his new Yamaha team-mate Colin
Edwards began their 2005 MotoGP campaign today with day one of a three-day test
in Sepang, Malaysia. Today the two riders climbed on board their new 2005
specification YZR-M1s for the first time this year, having enjoyed a seven-week
winter holiday since the last test, held in November.

Sharing the track with the Fortuna Yamaha Tech3 team as well as teams from
Honda, Ducati, Kawasaki and Suzuki, the Gauloises Yamaha Team quickly got back
into the swing of things and spent the day working on setting-up the new bikes.
Rossi completed a total of 47 laps and recorded a fastest time of 2'02.30, the
second quickest lap of the day behind Ducati man Loris Capirossi (2'02.18).
Rossi's Texan team-mate Edwards, who has already tested twice with the team
despite not becoming an official Yamaha rider until 1st January this year,
completed 55 laps with a best time of 2'03.08, fifth fastest of the 17 MotoGP
riders testing in Sepang.

Fortuna Yamaha Tech3 riders Toni Elas and Rubn Xaus concluded their first day
of testing, focusing their efforts on learning more about their YZR-M1 and the
team in general.

Spanish rookie Elas completed 56 laps throughout the course of the day with a
2'05.20. However his afternoon ended early after a low-speed crash in which he
dislocated the little finger on his right hand.

Fellow Spaniard Xaus rode the Yamaha M1 for the first time after five years with
his previous factory and completed 63 laps of the Sepang circuit with the sole
intention of learning his new machine. The Spaniard lapped consistently
throughout the first day before recording a 2'04.90.

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) - 2nd, 2'02.30

Today was not too bad, for the first day back! We spent the day working on
settings, and for sure we know that this new bike is a good bike. There is some
improvement to the engine and now the aim is to make some more changes and to
try to get the same feeling as we had with last year's bike, so I can ride it in
the same way. This bike is almost completely new, plus I haven't ridden for two
months, so there is a lot of work to do and we will continue tomorrow.

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) - 5th, 2'03.08

I'm pretty happy after this first day and it's awesome to be back. We spent all
day changing settings and just working on various small things to try to improve
the set-up. The Japanese need quite a lot of information to build their
database, so we spent some time doing things for them, too. We didn't test any
tyres, as we wanted to just concentrate on set-up, but tomorrow we might spend
some more time with different Michelin tyres. We've got a new engine, a new
chassis and there's a lot to work on; some areas have improved for me and some
haven't, but we just need to find the balance and we'll be okay.

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director

In November we tested a prototype bike and we've come here today with the final
2005 machine. The work we did today was just normal work to fine-tune the
settings. We've got 18 full days of testing planned before the start of the
season, so we have plenty of time to work on all the issues and hopefully find a
good solution for any difficulties. Today we have only just started.

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Tech3) - 14th, 2'05.20

It was a basic mistake, I went into the corner in a lower gear than I should
have and when I opened the throttle the bike threw me to the ground. Even though
it wasn't fast, it was a really hard fall. It's all part of the learning
process. Up to that point I'd been going well, dropping my times and riding
really focused. I didn't touch the set-up of the bike at all because my
objective at the moment is to run up the kilometers and basically adapt to the
new bike. In any case the important thing is that I'm here, I've been able to
ride the M1 after two and a half months of rest and I've had the chance to
continue the learning process. Basically I'm happy.

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Tech3) - 13th, 2'04.90

These tests will allow me to learn and adapt to the new team and the new bike.
I'm getting on really well with all the members of the team although I have to
speak French with the mechanics and English with the engineers. I've had a
really good feeling with the bike, I like it. I've still got a few habits after
five years riding a Ducati because I only used to use the clutch to set off and
then I'd forget about it. With the Yamaha it's obviously very different. I'm
still not using the engine as I should and the riding position is also very
different - more on the front-end - so all your references change. In general
I'm very happy; basically I spent all day trying to get a feel for the M1
without worrying about lap times. In the morning I was a bit tense and I think
I'll be much more relaxed when I arrive at the circuit tomorrow.

Testing times - day one

Loris Capirossi (Ducati):                2'02.18
Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team): 2'02.30 
Alex Barros (Honda):                     2'02.71 
Kenny Roberts (Suzuki):                  2'03.00 
Colin Edwards (Gauloise Yamaha Team):    2'03.08
Nicky Hayden (Honda):                    2'03.17
Max Biaggi (Honda):                      2'03.35
Sete Gibernau (Honda):                   2'03.40
Marco Melandri (Honda):                  2'03.50
Carlos Checa (Ducati):                   2'03.57
Makoto Tamada (Honda):                   2'03.63
Troy Bayliss (Honda):                    2'04.80
Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Tech3):       2'04.90
Toni Elas (Fortuna Yamaha Tech3):       2'05.20