Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Gauloises Yamaha Team Preview
Chinese Grand Prix
Shanghai, China
29, 30 April & 1 May 2005


The Gauloises Yamaha Team will be at the forefront of a groundbreaking event in
the history of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend, as the series visits
China for the first time in its 56-year history. The Chinese public will get
their first opportunity to see the world's most advanced motorcycles and skilled
riders at close quarters, having been able to enjoy the first two rounds of an
already dramatic season on television for the first time.

It has been a terrific start to the campaign so far for the Gauloises Yamaha
Team, who lead the riders' and teams' standings after successful races in Spain
and Portugal. Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi opened his title defence
with victory in the opening round at Jerez and followed up with a solid second
place in difficult conditions at Estoril last week.

The Italian's advantage at the top currently stands at seven points over Alex
Barros (Honda), whilst his team-mate Colin Edwards continues to gain confidence
in his first season aboard the YZR-M1. Edwards now lies eighth overall after a
determined performance in Portugal, which saw him finish sixth despite falling
midway through the race.

The Shanghai International Circuit presents a completely new challenge for both
riders, who will look to build on exhaustive work during the winter testing
period designed at finding an adaptable base setting for their YZR-M1 machines.
An extra day of tests working to this end in Portugal last Monday should help
them to swiftly adapt the bike to the demands of the Shanghai track, billed as
the "race circuit for the new millennium" at its opening last year.

The circuit was designed by architects Hermann Tilke and Peter Wahl and its
layout was inspired by the shape of the Chinese character 'shang', which stands
for 'high' or 'above'. Other symbols represented in the architecture of the
circuit facilities originate from Chinese history, such as the team buildings,
which are arranged like pavilions on a lake to resemble the ancient Yuyan-Garden
in Shanghai. One if the circuit's most impressive features is the extraordinary
main grandstand, which hosts some 29,000 seats and provides a spectacular view
of almost 80 percent of the circuit.

Whilst none of the MotoGP riders will have previously been able to test at the
Shanghai circuit until free practice gets underway on Friday morning, its
winding turns and high-speed straights promise plenty of opportunities for
overtaking and are sure to provide more close MotoGP racing in Sunday's
inaugural Chinese Grand Prix.


Valentino Rossi faces an entirely new experience this weekend as he looks to
extend his global phenomenon across new boundaries and into the Chinese market
for the first time. His talent and charisma is sure to stretch his fan base even
further, but the World Champion is typically focussed on events on the track and
defending his early championship lead.

"I'm really looking forward to being at the new track in China, a completely new
place for us," commented Rossi. "I think the circuit will be very good; it is
wide, fast and technical.  We have had two weeks between the Portuguese race and
China and we need to make some improvements with the bike, so hopefully we can
continue that in Shanghai during the practice sessions. There is not much more I
can say about it because I have never been to the country or the circuit!"

Rossi's call for improvements were met by an intense day of tests at Estoril
last Monday, ironing out some of the difficulties that restricted him to a
relatively subdued charge to second place in Sunday's race. Despite already
proving to be competitive in the opening two rounds of the season, the 2005
version YZR-M1 is still in its development phase and Rossi is looking to make
further progress in China.

"As for the Estoril race, above all I was trying not to fall in the slippery
conditions!  It was quite a tactical race for me because of the wet patches on
the track," he said. "I had some problems at the start and found it difficult to
get up front, but anyway we are looking good for points and hopefully Shanghai
is the place to get even more."


Whilst most of the Gauloises Yamaha Team and the rest of the MotoGP paddock are
making their way east to China this week, Edwards will be continuing his journey
west after paying a flying visit to his hometown of Conroe in Texas. Edwards and
his wife Alyssia stopped off in the USA to take a couple of days' rest and to
leave baby daughter Gracie in the hands of their family as they prepare for a
new cultural and personal experience.

"We headed home last Tuesday because we figured the distance to China from
Portugal was pretty much the same whichever way around the world you go!"
explained the 31 year old. "It's been nice to be able to spend a couple of days
at home but now myself and my wife Alyssia are ready to head for China and leave
Gracie with Grandma!

"I'm looking forward to China. I've never been there and I think it's the kind
of country everybody would like to go to at least once in their life, just to
check it out and experience the culture and the people first hand."

Edwards is currently in just his third season in MotoGP after several years in
the World Superbike series and, as such, has become accustomed to learning his
way around new tracks. It is a factor that helped propel him to second place in
the series' first visit to Qatar last season and the American is hoping the
experience can pay dividends in China after an encouraging weekend in Portugal.

"I've seen the map, which looks very much in the style of a modern F1 circuit,
but we'll have to wait and see when we get there. The one thing I've got going
for me is that I've had to learn a lot of new tracks over the last couple of
years and I'm kind of in the habit. Judging by Qatar last year I can learn
pretty quick and I'm looking forward to the challenge. I think Shanghai can be a
good track for us.

"I'm not getting carried away with the result at Estoril - it was a definite
improvement from Jerez but it's still short of where we want to be. The
important thing is that I felt comfortable with the bike, we got the balance of
it right and we made even more progress in the test on the following day. Now
we'll head out to China and see how that work pays off."


Gauloises Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio is one of the only team members to
have previously visited China, having recently made the trip over to check out
the Shanghai International Circuit facilities. The Italian says he is looking
forward to this weekend's experience as much as anybody, but insists the main
focus remains on defending the team's early championship lead.

"Everyone is quite curious to experience a new place and especially China, which
is such a special country," says Brivio. "I have actually been before to visit
the Shanghai circuit and I can say it is very good. The facilities are nice and
the track is very interesting. It has two long straights and some technical
corners - it's a nice mix.

"We head to China leading the championship and, as in the last round at Estoril,
our aim is to continue that way. We were also very pleased with Colin's
performance in Portugal and he would have definitely finished in the top four if
it wasn't for his fall, so we know the work we are doing is good. The conditions
were difficult for all the riders in the race so the test on Monday was
important to work on the base setting of the bikes and we were able to solve
some things."

Brivio added that an extra day of testing after each of the opening two rounds
at both Jerez and Estoril have been crucial in accelerating evolution of the
2005 version YZR-M1. Finding a base setting for the machine has been the team's
target ever since the bike was wheeled out for the first time at Sepang in
January and Brivio hopes they will be rewarded for their hard work in China.

"The basic idea of all our winter tests was to find a base that normally works
everywhere. We had some delays with the 2005 bike so we have continued that work
into the first two races of the season and now we hope we have found what we
were looking for. It is a completely new machine and it always takes time to get
up to speed, so we're curious to check how much progress we have made at a new
track like Shanghai."


Whilst this is the first Motorcycle Grand Prix to be held on mainland China,
international road racing has been running for almost forty years on the
south-eastern peninsular of Macau, now a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of
the People's Republic of China after several years of occupation by the
Portuguese. The first edition of the Macau Motor Cycle Grand Prix was held in
1967 and was won by Yamaha, with Hiroshi Hasegawa taking the chequered flag on
his Yamaha RD56 after 30 laps of the Guia circuit.

Two years later, history was made in Macau when John MacDonald became the first
and only man ever to have won both the car and motorcycle events, also riding a
Yamaha. Another interesting date on Yamaha's timeline at the Macau Grand Prix
came in 1978, when Yamaha riders filled the podium with Sadeo Asami, Steve
Parrish and Mike Trimby.


Although the MotoGP teams have never been to the Shanghai International Circuit
before, the 5,451m track promises to provide an interesting challenge for the
engineers. With a virtually equal ratio of nine left and seven right-hand
corners, as well as two long straights followed by hard braking zones, the
emphasis will again be on finding a balanced base setting for the Yamaha YZR-M1.
The longest straight runs parallel to the Dragster track between turns thirteen
and fourteen and has a length of 1,175m, which should permit top speeds in
excess of 320km/h, whilst technical corners such as a snail-like narrowing
section between turn one and turn three are unlike any other corner in the world.
Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards spent last Monday's test at Estoril working
specifically on their set-up for Shanghai, making further progress with the
general setting of the 2005 version YZR-M1 and finding a comfortable base which
they will now take to China. Whilst initial gearbox settings have already been
calculated on the circuit layout, both riders will use Friday morning's free
practice session to gather data about the peculiarities of the track, such as
bumps and grip levels, before making specific adjustments in the build-up to
Sunday's race.


Age: 26
Lives: London, UK
Bike: Gauloises Yamaha Team YZR-M1
GP victories: 69 (30 X MotoGP, 13 X 500cc, 14 X 250cc, 12 X 125cc)
First GP victory:  Czech Republic, 1996 (125cc)
First GP: Malaysia, 1996 (125cc)
GP starts: 142 (50 x MotoGP, 32 x 500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
GP Pole positions: 36
World Championships - 6 Grand Prix (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 3 x MotoGP)


Age: 31
Lives: Conroe, Texas
Bike: Gauloises Yamaha Team YZR-M1
GP victories: -
First GP: Japan, 2003 (MotoGP)
GP starts: 34
Pole positions: -
First pole: -
World Championships - 2 World Superbike