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


Shinya Nakano opened the season with an impressive qualifying performance aboard
the 2005 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR, claiming fifth on the grid for tomorrow's Spanish
Grand Prix with his final flying lap.

Nakano was the fastest qualifier on Bridgestone tyres for the opening round of
the 17-race MotoGP World Championship, to be held at the 4.4 km Jerez circuit in
southern Spain.

Joining Nakano in the top ten was his German teammate, Alex Hofmann, with a time
just 0.3s slower than Nakano, posted during a difficult session in which riders
were battered by strong winds and dust.

With 15 minutes remaining of the one-hour session both Ninja ZX-RR riders were
in the top five. With a superb last lap run on the latest Bridgestone qualifying
tyre Nakano secured fifth position as the chequered flag waved.

Meanwhile Hofmann was frustrated by traffic on his final lap and, while
disappointed to drop to tenth, the 24-year-old German is in a buoyant mood for
the race. Hofmann has concentrated on race set-up in free practice and claims to
have a fast and consistent package for the 27-lap race.

Today's qualifying results were a reward for the fast-tracked development of
Kawasaki's new big-bang engine, which only made its public debut just over two
months ago.

Since those initial tests in Malaysia the engineering team, led by Technical
Director Ichiro Yoda, have worked tirelessly to make the 990cc, in-line
four-cylinder motor competitive at the opening race of the season.

Overnight adjustments to the engine braking system provided more stability for
both Nakano and Hofmann on corner entry. Hofmann sliced one second from his best
Friday free practice time while Nakano was 0.9s quicker.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - 5th - 1'40.542

"Again Bridgestone provided us with a very good qualifying tyre and this is a
satisfying result for me and the team. But the race is more important, and I'm
happy to be starting on the second row. For sure Valentino and Sete will be very
strong, but I plan to follow them from the start and race for a good position.
The wind was very difficult today, especially at the end of the back straight,
but the ZX-RR felt more stable after further adjustment to the engine braking

Alex Hofmann: #66 - 10th - 1'40.812

"I was in the top five and my plan was to stay there, but it didn't work out. I
know I could have done better. I came across traffic on my final fast lap, so
with this new single hour qualifying system perhaps you need some luck. But I'm
ready for the race and I intend to make it happen in the first two laps; maybe
surprise a few people because I have a fast, consistent race pace. It was very
windy and dusty today and it reminded me a little of my days riding motocross
with dust in my helmet."

Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"Today was an excellent result for the first qualifying session of the season,
and the race debut of our new big-bang motor. Kawasaki in Japan have done a
great job considering the short time frame with the decision to develop the new
motor. Today Shinya was the fastest qualifier on Bridgestone tyres, and one
position ahead of his qualifying position for the first race last year, and this
gives us a lot of motivation for the season ahead. Alex should have been closer
in qualifying, but he will race very strongly, this is what he has been working


 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team  1'39.419
 2. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP      +0.496
 3. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP     +0.760
 4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda                +1.046
 5. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team       +1.123
 6. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team     +1.229
 7. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda       +1.288
 8. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda                  +1.301
 9. Troy Bayliss (AUS) Camel Honda                 +1.355
10. Alex Hofmann (GER) Kawasaki Racing Team        +1.393