Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
MotoGP battle cry to sound at Catalunya

The roar of the world's most advanced 990cc four-stroke prototype motorcycles
will once again be heard this weekend as MotoGP officially returns to action
after the long winter break. Almost five months since the final round of
Valentino Rossi's title-winning first season with Yamaha at Valencia, the full
complement of teams and riders will be back in Spain as they launch the first
stage of their quest to end the Italian's reign as World Champion at the MotoGP
Official Test at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona.

Whilst the majority of teams and factories have continued with their intense
testing programmes all around the world during the winter, this is the first
official date on the 2005 calendar and has become a traditionally competitive
prologue to recent seasons. The introduction of the BMW Award - MotoGP Best
Qualifier two years ago has added an extra edge to the test, with a televised
40-minute session offering a brand new 1 series model to the fastest rider.

The BMW Award - MotoGP Test has produced shock winners in both of its previous
two editions, with Loris Capirossi driving away with the inaugural prize on an
early version of the Ducati Desmosedici in 2003 and Rossi stunning his rivals in
his first official appearance with Yamaha YZR-M1 last year. Rossi also won the
overall BMW Award - MotoGP Best Qualifier of the Year, which is presented at the
end of the season to the rider with the lowest accumulated qualifying times over
the course of the World Championship, including their effort from the MotoGP
Official Test.

Rossi's rivals will be keen to ensure that both his garage and trophy cabinet
are not extended any further in 2005, starting with this weekend's test, which
gets underway at 10.00h on Friday 18th March. The timed session is scheduled to
start at 14.05h on Sunday afternoon.

Leading the quest to stop Rossi are his two greatest rivals from recent seasons,
Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau. Both riders have finished runner-up to Rossi in
the MotoGP World Championship and have full factory support from Honda in 2005
as they look to finally lift the title. HRC have brought out new versions of
their RC211V machines during the winter tests and have enjoyed encouraging
results, with Nicky Hayden also showing good form and Makoto Tamada adapting
quickly to Michelin tyres after switching from Bridgestone.

Honda is not the only factory to have updated its machinery during preseason,
with Yamaha, Ducati, Kawasaki and Suzuki all rolling out futuristic new
prototypes in tests at circuits including Sepang, Phillip Island and Qatar.
Meanwhile, Team Roberts took to the track at Valencia last week for a shakedown
test with their new Proton motorcycle, powered by a KTM engine, whilst WCM
expect their new Blata V6 machine to be ready for the first round of the season
at Jerez on 10th April.

As well as witnessing all of the new machines on track together for the first
time this year, fans at Catalunya will also get their first glimpse of several
exciting new rider line-ups. Whilst Colin Edwards has replaced Carlos Checa as
team-mate to Valentino Rossi at Yamaha, Checa has taken the place of Troy
Bayliss at Ducati and Bayliss himself has switched to Honda. Marco Melandri will
also be making his first official MotoGP appearance for Honda after switching
from Yamaha's satellite team, which will this season be represented by Ruben
Xaus and Toni Elias, contesting his rookie season in the premier-class alongside
the former Ducati rider after moving up from 250cc.

Elias' former quarter-litre rivals will also be at Catalunya this week, starting
a day and a half of tests on Wednesday afternoon. Dani Pedrosa will defend the
number 1 plate this season but has several new rivals including Andrea
Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo, Hector Barbera, Simone Corsi and Casey Stoner, who
have all moved up from the 125cc class, as well as Japanese Champion Yuki
Takahashi and regular frontrunners from last season such as Sebastian Porto,
Randy de Puniet and Alex de Angelis.

The exodus of riders from the 125cc class promises another open and exciting
season, with the experienced Pablo Nieto the highest ranked rider in the class
from last year. Nieto promises to be a strong contender in 2005 having returned
to the Derbi factory but will no doubt have to contend with former World
Champion Manuel Poggiali, who is back with Gilera after a disastrous defence of
the 250cc crown, as well as promising youngsters such as Mika Kallio, Alvaro
Bautista, Sergio Gadea and Marco Simoncelli.

The 125cc category opens the action at the Circuit de Catalunya this week with a
day and a half of tests beginning on Tuesday 15th March at 10.00h.

INFO 2005/7. 14-03-2005