Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Portuguese Grand Prix
Estoril, Portugal
Sunday 17th April, 2005


Valentino Rossi finished second in the Portuguese Grand Prix today after a
difficult race with changing weather conditions in Estoril. His Gauloises Yamaha
team-mate Colin Edwards showed a marked improvement in his performance but made
a small mistake on the slippery track and slipped off from fourth position four
laps from the end. He remounted and finished sixth, taking ten points in the
process and helping the Yamaha Factory Team to move to the top of the Team
Championship standings.

Starting from fourth, Rossi kept his grid position until he passed Max Biaggi
(Honda) on lap four and moved into third place. He had to work hard to keep in
front of his fellow Italian and was unable to keep pace with eventual winner
Alex Barros (Honda) and Sete Gibernau (Honda) as they opened up a gap over the
rest of the field. Meanwhile Edwards was engaged in a close struggle with Marco
Melandri, the pair changing position several times with neither able to make the
pass stick.

With 20 laps to go and the rainfall heavier, white flags were displayed due to a
new MotoGP rule whereby Race Direction can grant the riders permission to make a
pit stop and change bikes if they choose to. Since the rain never became much
more than a gentle drizzle, all riders chose to continue to race on slick
tyres. The difficult track conditions took their toll however when race leader
Gibernau crashed out on lap 17, elevating Rossi and Edwards to second and fifth
respectively. On lap 20 Edwards passed Melandri and was finally starting to open
up a gap on the Honda rider, when he was caught off-guard by the slippery track
at turn one and slid off. Luckily he was unhurt and remounted immediately, while
Rossi stuck behind Barros and eventually finished 2.771 seconds behind the
Brazilian, with Biaggi in third.

VALENTINO ROSSI, 2nd (Race time - 47'16.824; Fastest lap - 1'39.142)

"That was a really difficult race for me. The conditions were so strange, with
patches of rain here and there. In the beginning it was light rain, then it got
worse and worse so that the first part of the track was very wet. It was a
horrible feeling to ride with slicks in the wet. Anyway, I'm very happy to have
finished in second place because we're now 20 points ahead, and this was a very
important race for us in terms of the championship. The bike still has a few
problems and we have a lot of work to do. Today was a bit of miracle really,
there was quite a lot of luck involved!

"I gradually got used to the conditions during the race but it's not ideal to
ride like that. The new wet race rules are better for TV but it's not entirely
safe, although it's clearer now for all the riders when the race has been
declared as wet. I think it's impossible in our sport though to find a perfect
rule for that."

COLIN EDWARDS, 6th (Race time - 47'58.269; Fastest lap - 1'39.584)

"That was a good race although of course I am disappointed about falling. The
bike felt completely different from the Jerez race and I felt like I could have
kept pace with Rossi and Barros quite easily. Unfortunately I was fighting with
Melandri and for the first half of the race I just couldn't make the pass stick
on him; gradually the leaders just edged away. Finally I got away from him and I
was pushing in order to keep a space between us, but I hit that slippery patch
at turn one and went down, it just caught me off guard! Everywhere else on the
track was okay and you could get the bike fully leaned over, but turn one was
just like ice. It was my mistake and I'm annoyed but the rest of the race was
really encouraging and a big improvement."


"That was a race in very difficult conditions with the change from the dry to
the wet. Congratulations to all the riders who finished the race. It was a good
race for Yamaha, with Valentino we've scored 20 important points. It would have
been easy to make a mistake so he did very well to keep pushing and finish in
second without any problems. For Colin this was a big improvement from the last
race, we fixed some problems after the last test in Jerez and he quickly found a
good base here. He made a small mistake but he was able to recover and finish
still in a good position.  It was an encouraging race for him and I hope this is
the start of a good season."


 1. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda               47'14.053
 2. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team    +2.771
 3. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda Team             +6.071
 4. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP    +29.546
 5. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team       +29.774
 6. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team     +44.216
 7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team          +57.121
 8. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team      +59.847
 9. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team  +1'07.718
10. Ruben Xaus (SPA) Fortuna Yamaha Team        +1'22.431


 2. Alex Barros (BRA)      38
 3. Marco Melandri (ITA)   29
 4. Max Biaggi (ITA)       25
 5. Sete Gibernau (SPA)    20
 6. Shinya Nakano (JPN)    19
 7. Carlos Checa (SPA)     17
 9. Troy Bayliss (AUS)     15
10. Loris Capirossi (ITA)  10