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

The Portuguese Grand Prix got off to a painful and slightly embarrassing start
for Kawasaki's Alex Hofmann when the 24-year-old German crashed his Ninja ZX-RR
during an exhibition ride at Estoril's seafront Casino on Wednesday afternoon.

Hofmann joined fellow riders Alex Barros, Makoto Tamada, Pablo Nieto, Casey
Stoner and Mika Kallio, for a short demonstration ride in front of a small, but
enthusiastic crowd in the centre of Estoril, to promote this weekend's race at
the Autodromo Fernanda Pires da Silva, which is located on the outskirts of the
resort town.

A brief demonstration by the two-stroke contingent went off without any problems
but the power of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR caught Hofmann out as he started his
return run on the short demonstration course.

The Kawasaki rider got on the gas a little too early as he prepared for the run
back up the hill to the casino, with the result that the back of the bike span
up on the slippery road surface and unceremoniously flicked him over the high
side, much to the astonishment of the watching crowd and television crews.

"I don't know what happened," declared Hofmann. "I didn't get on the gas that
hard, but the rear still came round on me without any warning. I guess it was
just a combination of cold tyres and a slippery road. It's bad enough crashing
at any time, but to do it at 40 kph during a demonstration parade is incredibly
embarrassing. I didn't want to take my helmet off in front of the crowd, because
they'd have been able to see how red my face was!"

"And if crashing in front of a crowd wasn't bad enough, there were also quite a
few television crews in attendance. Most of the people in the paddock had
already seen the crash on television before I'd even got back to the track, so I
know I'm going to have to put up with a few jokes at my expense this weekend."

While damage to his Ninja ZX-RR was limited to a broken footrest and a few
scratches on the fairing, Hofmann hit his left hand hard on the floor during the
crash and was later diagnosed as having cracked two small bones in his wrist by
staff at the Clinica Mobile.

"I just can't believe my bad luck. Other riders have had much bigger crashes
during testing and have walked away unscathed. Even Shakey Byrne only suffered a
bruised head after crashing his scooter at 50 kph, despite not having any
protective gear on at the time. This was my first crash since the opening round
at Welkom last season, but I manage to crack two bones in my hand falling off at
almost walking pace. Unbelievable."

"I went over the top of the bike and hit my left hand quite hard on the ground.
My wrist is quite sore and swollen at the moment, but I'm hoping that resting it
today will mean it's okay for the start of practice tomorrow," added the
bruised, but upbeat, Kawasaki rider.

Free practice for Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix starts tomorrow at 10.00 in the
morning, and continues at 14.00 tomorrow afternoon.