Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kawasaki Racing Team
18 MARCH 2005


The three-day IRTA test opened at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today
with glorious spring weather producing near perfect track conditions.

Kawasaki ZX-RR riders Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann made the most of clear
sunny skies and 30 degree track temperatures to post impressive lap times that
were personal best performances at this track.

Nakano was more than a second under his previous best race lap, while Hofmann
was 1.7s seconds quicker than in the Catalunya GP last year.

Nakano and Hofmann were just two of 15 riders under the current track record
held by Sete Gibernau.

The dramatic drop in lap times reflects the continuing progress in machine and
tyre development and the fact that the 4.7 km Circuit de Catalunya was
completely resurfaced over the winter break.

Nakano and Hofmann have been joined by Japanese test rider Kazuki Shimizu at the
Barcelona test.

Nakano and Shimizu are concentrating on evaluating the big bang version of
Kawasaki's 990cc, in-line four cylinder motor. Meanwhile Hofmann's ZX-RR
continues to run with last year's screamer engine configuration.

Hofmann will be supplied with big bang motors for next week's IRTA test in Jerez.

Today Hofmann concentrated on chassis and tyre testing including evaluation of
swinging arm and weight distribution set-ups.

Evaluation of a range of new Bridgestone tyres, both front and rear, is also
part of the three-day test program.

Shinya Nakano #56 - 77 laps (1'44.325)

"Today I was able to confirm my preference of big-bang engine specification, at
least for the first two races. I prefer the earlier of the two versions, which
gives me more control and feeling on the throttle, although we still have some
work to do on fine-tuning the engine braking system.  Even though I'm a second
faster than my best race lap here it is not enough, because everyone else is
going faster."

Alex Hofmann #66 - 77 laps (1'44.546)

"The new track surface is generally much smoother, although in some places the
work has moved the bumps from one part of the track to another. I tried a couple
of versions of the 2005 chassis, with different stiffness, and some new rear
tyres from Bridgestone. The new track surface appears to have changed wear rates
on the tyres so this will be an important part of testing over the weekend. I'm
a racer and would prefer to have some track time with the big bang motor but
that is not an option with limited supply and I must respect Kawasaki's decision
for Shinya to do that part of the testing."

Ichiro Yoda - Technical Director

"We have two different versions of the big bang motor here with different firing
orders, and Shinya and Kazuki compared those today. From this we have confirmed
the configuration we will use for the opening two GPs in Jerez and Estoril.
Shinya prefers the earlier version of the big bang, it gives him more control,
and this will be the motor that both Shinya and Alex will use in the opening
races. We will continue further development and revise that decision after the
first two events"