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


The Kawasaki factory riders Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann plan to capitalise on
a strong start to the season in round two of the MotoGP World Championship,
which takes place in Portugal this weekend.

The Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril comes just seven days after the opening
race at Jerez in Spain, where Nakano made a superb start to the season with
fifth place.

Nakano was the highest placed rider on Bridgestone tyres in the Spanish GP, both
in qualifying and the race.

After his brilliant race effort Nakano stayed on at Jerez for a test session on
Monday as part of the development programme for Kawasaki's new big-bang firing
order motor.

The engine made an impressive race debut at Jerez, with Nakano being strongly
supported by young German teammate Alex Hofmann, who finished 11th to open his
championship points account for the season.

There is an expectation that the big-bang motor, still young in its development
life, will be the catalyst for a change of fortunes for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR
at Estoril.

The track is unique on the MotoGP calendar. It has a slow average speed of 152
kph but features a long, super-fast front straight with speeds over 330 kph.
This is combined with a compact infield section that packages a high-speed
sweeper with a sequence of slow and twisty corners.

The Kawasaki team, in company with tyre partner Bridgestone, are optimistic of
backing-up their strong Jerez performances at Estoril this weekend.

In the lead-up to this year's race Bridgestone have gathered additional tyre
data following the visit of their test team last month to Estoril.

Following a late change in the calendar the Portuguese GP has been moved from
its usual September staging to earlier in the season. Located adjacent to the
Atlantic Ocean coastline the weather is often unpredictable at Estoril, although
there is a forecast of mainly sunny, but cool, spring weather conditions.

Shinya Nakano: #56

"Estoril is a strange track with a very fast straight and tight infield section.
But this part should suit our new big-bang engine because we have good traction
and smoother acceleration. This year will be very interesting for Kawasaki at
Estoril, because last year we didn't perform very well either in qualifying or
the race. I think we can expect similar performance to Jerez and now I'm relaxed
and confident, there is always a lot of pressure at the first race."

Alex Hofmann: #66

"The Ninja ZX-RR didn't really shine at Estoril last year, although the 2005
model is a very different package, especially with the benefit of the new firing
order motor. I'm confident the big-bang engine will be a big change for us at
Estoril. There is a long straight and, in the early stage of development, we
still do not have the most powerful engine, but we have good chassis balance and
traction. The surface suits the Bridgestone tyres and I'm looking for another
strong result; Jerez was a good race for me, I learned a lot and I'm ready for