Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
MotoGP tests hit by rain on second day at Jerez

The MotoGP riders woke up to slashing rain at the Jerez circuit this morning as
they prepared for the second of three days' testing at the southern Spanish
track. With most of the teams having spent their pre-season testing programme
working in the sunshine of Malaysia and Australia, it was a first opportunity
for many riders to try out their 2005 machines in wet conditions; a valuable
exercise considering the fact that last year's Grand Prix here was ridden
entirely in the wet. The very real possibility of there being a wet race
somewhere along the seventeen races this year forced teams to try out their
settings for the conditions, with reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi
explaining the choice: "It was really important for us that it rained today,
because we had never ridden this 2005 machine in the wet. Of course, it is also
good preparation in case of a wet race too, which is always possible."

"We got some good feelings out of the new bike in those conditions this morning,
and of course, there are a few little problems that need ironing out, but I was
quick straight away. We might not be at 100% in the wet, but were not too bad at

The heavy rain came to a head around lunchtime, and with watery sunshine poking
through the clouds, the riders decided to wait until the track was fully dry
before embarking on further tests. Suzuki's Kenny Roberts was fastest in the wet
conditions with a lap of 1'53.218, but once the action got going once more it
was Kawasaki rider Shinya Nakano who surprisingly set the pace in the dry.

Nakano and his team-mate Alex Hofmann had both shown encouraging signs on the
first day of the test and, although the lap times were not as fast today due to
the inferior grip levels caused by the weather, the Japanese rider confirmed the
progress being made with the Ninja ZX-RR machine. Nakano's best time of 1'42.112
was over a second slower than John Hopkins' effort yesterday but it was enough
to secure top spot on the time sheets overnight as the riders cross their
fingers for better conditions tomorrow.

"It's a good feeling to be fastest but the track conditions weren't so good
today and there were a lot of wet patches," explained Nakano. "The new
Bridgestone tyres are very compatible with this circuit in the dry and, together
with the new 'big bang' engine, there is a big improvement with the overall
package. The tyre offers better side grip and the engine gives better throttle
control in slippery conditions."

Nicky Hayden was again second fastest on the Honda, just 0.027 seconds behind
Nakano and less than a tenth ahead of factory colleague Sete Gibernau. Hopkins
was fourth fastest today on the Suzuki whilst Gibernau's team-mate Marco
Melandri completed the top five. With Hofmann sixth fastest, Rossi made it four
different manufacturers in the top seven riding the Yamaha.

INFO 2005/17. 26-03-2005