Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Portuguese GP - Round 2 - MotoGP
Estoril - Sunday, April 17th 2005 - Race

Alex Barros dominates in Portugal: pole, fastest lap and victory

To steal a football phrase, it would be termed a hat-trick, the work of a
magician. That's the magic Camel Honda's Alex Barros worked this weekend,
finishing top in all four practice sessions, taking pole position, setting the
fastest lap in the race and ultimately claiming victory in the Portuguese Grand
Prix. All this in a virtual home race for the Brazilian rider, son of Antonio;
Portuguese. He was unable to claim the official circuit record by just a few
thousandths of a second, but he was undoubtedly the top man out on track today.
The track conditions were insidious, on lap nine the first spots of rain moved
the race director to bring out the white flags to signal that a bike change was
allowed, then on the twenty-third lap the Camel Honda mechanics warmed up the
spare bike, ready for anything, but Alex didn't come in. Later he would say that
it hadn't even crossed his mind, but those same conditions betrayed his
team-mate Troy Bayliss, who got a great start from the fifth row, moving up to
seventh as he put on a great show. However the Australian was caught out on the
twentieth lap, but he managed to pick up his machine, get back into the race and
even move a couple of positions back up the order to snatch eleventh place,
picking up five useful points.

Sito Pons - Camel Honda

"I'm delighted! For Alex and for the team. Alex deserved this result because he
rode as both myself and all the team know he can. His motivation and
determination are only equated by the faith we have in him. That's what you need
to be able to give your best. We will be alongside him in the fifteen races that
remain, and we will be aiming for more results like this one. Once more,
congratulations to him and the Camel Honda team and all our supporters. It's a
shame about Troy's crash, because he was having a great race and was fighting
back strongly. If he hadn't have crashed I think he would have got into the top
five. Nevertheless he had the courage to get back on board, get involved once
more and come home eleventh. He's getting more and more confident with the bike,
and his time will come."

Alex Barros - Camel Honda - 1st place

"I made a strike today, I'm unbelievably happy, this has been a perfect weekend.
I have to thank both the team and Michelin, they have given me great things to
work with. We've taken every session here, pole position and victory too. I also
want to thank my sponsor Camel, who have filled me with confidence. This morning
the conditions were difficult, and in the warm-up we went out on wet tyres but
the track wasn't that damp. The race was even more complicated. The track was
virtually dry at the beginning but then there were a few drops. There was a
moment when Sete took a bit of an advantage, then he slowed and I caught him up.
I began to push and push, trying to put pressure on him, even though I could
feel the raindrops on my helmet and on the bike. Then he lost the front end and
crashed out, he was at the limit. They put out the white flag, but I didn't
think about coming in for one moment, it wasn't raining enough for that, and it
wasn't even worth putting on intermediate tyres. It was a tough race, the track
was in difficult conditions, but the satisfaction is enormous. Valentino pushed
me hard at the end, and though I tried to respond, I lost a few seconds on the
last laps, but only because I was preparing my celebrations!" 

Troy Bayliss - Camel Honda - 11th place

"It might seem strange, but I'm quite happy with my race. I was starting down
the order a bit, but I managed to get a good start. I got to seventh, and was
having a good battle with Hayden, pushing to the limit, when I crashed out. The
bike stalled, and automatically thinking about last year's bike I thought my
race was over, that I wouldn't be able to start it again. I tried it anyway and
it started up again. I got going again and even though the handlebars were all
twisted I picked up some points by bringing the bike home. It will go better
next time. Congratulations to Alex, he was great today, I'm happy for him and
for the team."