Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Jerez ready to host final MotoGP preseason showdown

The 2005 MotoGP World Championship teams and riders have their final chance to
complete their preseason preparations in a three-day Official Test at Jerez this
weekend, following on from the Catalunya session just four days ago, when Sete
Gibernau claimed the fastest time and consequently drove home in a brand-new BMW
1 Series as the prize for the BMW Award - MotoGP test.

There is no such bounty on offer this weekend but virtually the entire paddock
has travelled south through Spain in a gradual convoy that has now set up camp
at the Andalucian circuit, venue for the opening round of the season in exactly
two weeks' time. Whilst the 125cc teams tested on Monday and Tuesday, their
250cc counterparts today completed a two-day session in mixed weather conditions
with Sebastian Porto setting a blistering pace.

Porto ended today's final 250cc session on top of the time sheets after taking
advantage of a brief spell of warm sunshine to smash his own pole position
record by almost a second with a stunning lap of 1'42.817.

The majority of riders had not emerged on track until 1pm due to damp track
conditions caused by overnight rain and were unable to push their machines to
the limit because of limited grip, but Aprilia rider Porto was in the right
place at the right time with a virtually perfect lap which also dipped under the
unofficial circuit record of 1'42.9, set by current World Champion Dani Pedrosa
during private tests in January.

"It's a really fast time, no 250cc machine has ever been quicker here,"
reflected Porto, who finished as runner-up to Pedrosa last season. "I'm feeling
good, we're getting better every day, but there is still margin for improvement.
We'll have to work on that in the practice sessions for the Grand Prix but we've
got a couple of weeks off now to relax and look forward to the season."

Pedrosa was second fastest today despite suffering from the same carburetion
problems that dogged his Honda in Catalunya last week, whilst Randy de Puniet,
Alex de Angelis and Andrea Dovizioso completed the top five.

Marco Simoncelli had been the quickest rider over the two days of 125cc
sessions, lapping inside his pole position time from 2004 with a lap of
1'47.274. Simoncelli, who went on to take his debut Grand Prix victory in the
race here last year, was followed on by Thomas Luthi, Mattia Pasini, Mika Kallio
and Fabrizio Lai.

The MotoGP riders will take to the track tomorrow, with Gibernau aiming to
continue his good preseason form at a circuit where he claimed victory in wet
conditions last season. However, his compatriot Carlos Checa will not be taking
part in the test after being diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder after MRI
scans in Barcelona this week, following a crash at the Catalunya circuit last

INFO 2005/15. 24-03-2005