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


Kawasaki Racing Team riders, Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann, finished 11th and
12th respectively in today's qualifying shootout at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The shootout was the highlight of the third and final day of the IRTA test in

Both Nakano and Hofmann rode Ninja ZX-RR machines fitted with development
versions of Kawasaki's new big bang firing order, 990cc in-line four-cylinder

Both riders posted personal best times at the 4.7 km Barcelona circuit.

Hofmann switched to the new big bang ZX-RR motor today as part of a strategy
forthe 24-year-old German to maximise track time with the new engine

Hofmann had been scheduled to make his debut with the big bang motor at next
week's IRTA test at Jerez, but was delighted to make the switch one day earlier
then expected.

The Kawasaki big bang motor only made its track debut at Sepang in February, and
is still in the early stages of a long and intensive development programme.

In the morning free practice session both riders evaluated suspension and
chassis set-up, as well as continuing their test schedules with the latest
Bridgestone tyres.

Both Hofmann and Nakano have been impressed with the increased levels of side
grip offered by the latest tyre compounds.

Engine development has been the main focus of this weekend's IRTA Barcelona test
and that will continue next week at Jerez, which will be the final pre-season
workout for the Kawasaki Racing Team.

It is just three weeks to the opening race of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix
at Jerez.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - 11th (1'43.661)

"I am a little disappointed. I pushed very hard to make this time and this was
the maximum result that was possible today. The new big bang engine is the right
direction, but it is obvious we still have more work to do, especially on corner
entry stability with the engine braking system. The 2005 Ninja ZX-RR is ahead of
last year's screamer motor, but everyone else is going much faster at the moment"

Alex Hofmann: #66 - 12th  (1'43.709)

"After two and a half years of riding the Kawasaki 'screamer' motor in testing
and races, I was very happy to have a new feeling under me when I switched to
the big bang motor today. This concept is the way to go, making it easier and
more consistent to produce fast times. It was motivating for me to make the
switch today, but also obvious that our rivals have not been sleeping in terms
of performance. At the moment the big bang probably lacks some top end power,
but I'm sure that will come as development continues."

Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"Even though the big bang engine development programme is later than we had
hoped for, this result shows that we've made a significant improvement in engine
performance. The Ninja ZX-RR has closed the gap to the leading group and we hope
to make a further step forward at the IRTA tests in Jerez next week. Overall I
am happy with the progress to this point, and I'm confident there is a lot more
to come from this version of the Ninja ZX-RR engine."