Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
Barcelona IRTA test kicks off 2005

Catalunya, Spain
18/3/2005

Seven days after packing up from their most recent test session at the Phillip
Island circuit in Australia, Yamaha continued with their intense pre-season
development programme today, the first day of the MotoGP Official Tests at the
Catalunya circuit in Spain. Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and
Colin Edwards took advantage of bright sunshine and ideal ambient temperatures
of 23C to evaluate the performance of their 2005 version YZR-M1 machines,
adorned in the team's stunning new livery for the first time.

Having previously tested at Sepang and Phillip Island this year, the Catalunya
circuit represents a fresh new perspective for the riders and the machine. The
Spanish track's wide variety of corners, recently re-laid track surface and
1047m straight, one of the longest on the MotoGP World Championship calendar,
gives the team the opportunity to improve its overall package.

Rossi and Edwards today worked largely on finding a good base set-up for their
new machines but were both consistently amongst the fastest riders on track, and
ended the day with fifth (1'43.518) and sixth (1'43.882) respectively. The
fastest lap of the eight-hour session was set by Max Biaggi (Honda) with a time
of 1'43.158.

The Fortuna Yamaha team riders Rubn Xaus and Toni Elas continued to work on
their Yamaha YZR M1 machines. Luck was not on the side of Xaus, however, as the
Spaniard crashed at the start of the day and a technical problem with his YZR M1
in the afternoon meant he was unable to complete his entire testing programme as
planned. His team-mate Elas, preparing for his rookie season, clocked a time of
1'44.55 - the 15th fastest of the day. Xaus, meanwhile, was 16th fastest with a
time of 1'44.787.

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) - 1'43.518

"We're having quite a few problems finding the right set-up and I haven't had
great feeling so far, especially with the front. I hope tomorrow we feel better
but we need to find a solution to this problem. We have to work on engine
performance as well over the next two days and find out what's going wrong.
Anyway, I am confident that the team will find out the way we need to go and we
have two more days to get there."

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) - 1'43.882

"Catalunya is a very different style of circuit to Phillip Island and we were
able to evaluate some different things with the new bike, although the actual
material we had available was the same as the past tests. The long straight here
has shown that we're probably a little bit down on top speed at the moment but
we're making up for that everywhere else, so I'm pretty happy with how things
are going. The grip isn't the best at the moment with the new surface but it
just needs a while to bake in and I imagine it will be much better by the time
the race comes around here in June."

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director

"This is a new track for us with the 2005 bike so it's the perfect opportunity
for us to test out a few different things. Colin tested a lot of tyres again for
Michelin and he rode smoothly throughout the day without too many problems.
However, Valentino is still not completely happy with the bike and he is having
some problems with the front-end. Hopefully tomorrow we can work to find some
solutions for him. In general it was a typical first day of tests."

Toni Elas (Fortuna Yamaha Team) - 1'44.550

"At the start of the day I had quite a big crash but I wasn't hurt. In any case
I'm happy with the job we're doing. It's a really tough category and I've still
got a lot to learn. We have to take things calmly - we've still got another two
days to go." 

Rubn Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team) - 1'44.787

"I've still got the riding 'chip' in from last year's bike and I have to change
quickly because I'm still riding the M1 with old settings and that's not
allowing me to ride in the way I would really like. The bike is running really
well and I like it a lot, but I have to learn to brake a little later with the
Yamaha. We've still got a lot of work to do."

Times - day 1:

Max Biaggi (Honda)                       1'43.158
Sete Gibernau (Honda)                    1'43.254
Makoto Tamada (Honda)                    1'43.347
Marco Melandri (Honda)                   1'43.433
VALENTINO ROSSI (GAULOISES YAMAHA TEAM)  1'43.518
COLIN EDWARDS (GAULOISES YAMAHA TEAM)    1'43.882
Alex Barros (Honda)                      1'43.902
Loris Capirossi (Ducati)                 1'43.974
Carlos Checa (Ducati)                    1'44.102
Kenny Roberts (Suzuki)                   1'44.282
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