Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP : Yamaha makes a steady start at slippery Estoril
Round: 2 - Estoril MotoGP
Circuit: Estoril
Date: 15 April 2005
Temp: 16ēC
Weather: Cloudy

Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards began adjusting
their YZR-M1 machines to the demands of the Estoril circuit in typically mixed
weather conditions on the windy west coast of Portugal today. Thick black rain
clouds blew intermittently across long stretches of blue skies and warm
sunshine, with occasional rain showers leaving the track surface slippery and

Despite the changeable conditions, which are expected to continue for the rest
of the weekend, Edwards was able to follow on from a positive day of testing at
Jerez earlier this week to take another step forward in the set-up of his
YZR-M1. Edwards is using a shorter exhaust system compared to his team-mate
Rossi, as he has done ever since Yamaha's private pre-season tests at Phillip
Island last month, and the American was particularly impressed with its
performance at this tight and twisty circuit.

Whilst Edwards was fourth fastest over today's two free practice sessions,
neither of which contribute to the formation of the grid for Sunday's race,
Rossi lapped sixth fastest with a 1'39.446, still some way off the circuit lap
record of 1'38.423 which he set on the Yamaha YZR-M1 last season. Alex Barros
(Honda) was significantly quick in both sessions, clocking the fastest time of
1'38.516 in the afternoon. He was followed by Sete Gibernau (Honda, 1'39.065),
Nicky Hayden (Honda, 1'39.072) and Edwards (1'39.144).

Fortuna Yamaha Team rider Toni Elias continued to show impressive form for such
a young MotoGP rookie, with the Spaniard setting the ninth fastest combined time
for the day - a 1'39.732. In only his second official free practice outing Elias
found himself half a second behind second placed man Gibernau and 1.2 second
behind Barros.

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 4th, 1'39.144

"This morning was a bit of a waste of a session because I had a slow puncture on
the front tyre. Despite that I went out this afternoon and it felt good straight
away - we definitely made an overall improvement to the bike at the Jerez test.
I find that the throttle connection to the engine is much better with the new
exhaust, which is an important aspect at this circuit. I've never ridden the
Yamaha here before but I had a feeling it would work well and in the twisty
sections it's awesome. MotoGP racing is never easy but if we can work on our
strong points and make those twisty sections even better then we have a good
chance. "

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 6th 1'39.446

"Friday isn't so important for the grid any more but it is important to use this
time constructively to work on the set-up. We are okay but we have some
difficulties, especially with the rear-end, and there is not a lot of grip at
this circuit anyway. I was close to falling twice in that session. Some things
are not working perfectly and the conditions are making it very hard. It's
difficult to get the tyre to the right temperature, especially on the left side,
because the conditions are changing all the time. We are not at our maximum yet
but I hope the weather is better tomorrow so we can sort everything out. People
are talking about rain on Sunday but I'm not worried because we know our bike
works well in the wet."

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director

"It was quite cold today and there were strong winds, as well as light spells of
rain, which made it very difficult to get the tyres to perform 100%. That is not
an ideal situation when you are trying to find an initial set-up for a circuit
but it is the same for everybody. Colin is going well and showing signs of
improvement from Jerez, whilst Valentino still has a few problems to fix. With
the new qualifying format we can dedicate the whole of Friday to collecting
information so now we can look ahead to using it to make improvements tomorrow.
Hopefully the weather is on our side!"

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 9th, 1'39.732

"I am quite happy - really happy in fact with how today went. Every time we are
getting closer to the leading group. This is important for me and the team
because it means we are working in the right direction. This morning I made a
silly little mistake, I went out on cold tyres and another rider came by on a
hot lap. I moved out of the way but went a little too far and ran off the track.
Live and learn. We had a small problem with suspension this morning, but in the
end we found a solution. I'm looking forward to tomorrow because I like this
style of track."

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 15th, 1'40.163

"We will keep working; we have to at this high level. When you think you're
getting close they move the benchmark again. The toughest part for me is the
fact that I rode another bike for five years which was very different in
character to the Yamaha. I have to learn to change my style to suit this bike.
Once that happens I will be fine. The one who works hard will taste success."

Round: 2 - Estoril MotoGP

Circuit: Estoril
Circuit Length: 4182m
Lap Record: 1' 39.189 (Valentino Rossi, 2003)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 38.412 (Loris Capirossi, 2003)
Date: 15 April 2005
Temp: 16ēC

Free Practice :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  Free Practice
 1  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   1'38.516
 2  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   1'39.065
 3  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   1'39.072
 4  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   1'39.144
 5  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   1'39.200
 6  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   1'39.446
 7  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   1'39.477
 8  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   1'39.535
 9  T. Elias      Yamaha        ESP   1'39.732
10  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   1'39.769
11  K. Roberts    Suzuki        USA   1'39.804
12  L. Capirossi  Ducati        ITA   1'39.820
13  M. Tamada     Honda         JPN   1'39.997
14  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   1'40.020
15  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   1'40.163
16  T. Bayliss    Honda         AUS   1'40.639