Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
MotoGP returns to Europe with Grand Prix Alice de France

The MotoGP World Championship continues apace this weekend with the fourth round
of the season seeing the series return to much more familiar territory after its
groundbreaking first sojourn to China two weeks ago. The historic Le Mans
circuit has been a regular feature on the Grand Prix calendar since 1969 and
this weekend it welcomes the world's premier motorcycle racing series for the
18th time.

Current World Champion Valentino Rossi leads the standings after three rounds
and arrives in France looking to improve on a comparatively poor record at Le
Mans. Fourth place last season was one of only three occasions the Italian
actually finished a race outside the podium positions on his way to the title
for Yamaha and he will be desperate to rectify that statistic this weekend as he
aims to become the factory's first rider to score seven consecutive top-three
finishes since Wayne Rainey over a decade ago.

Whilst Marco Melandri currently lies second in the championship, 25 points
behind his compatriot, this weekend presents his Honda team-mate Sete Gibernau
with the ideal chance to get his season on track after a disastrous start. The
Spaniard, who has finished runner-up to Rossi in the championship for the past
two seasons, is already 37 points adrift of his great rival and will look for
his third consecutive victory at this circuit to repair the damage caused by a
crash and a fourth place finish from the past two rounds.

Rossi's biggest challenge, however, could come from the unexpected source of
home favourite Olivier Jacque. The Frenchman returned to MotoGP as a replacement
for the injured Alex Hofmann at the last round in Shanghai and stormed to an
incredible second place, Kawasaki's best result in the premier-class since
Mick Grant won the Isle of Man TT race in 1975. Jacque's first podium finish in
MotoGP was also the first for any French rider since Regis Laconi at Phillip
Island in 1999 and the local hero will receive huge home backing as he aims for
a repeat this weekend.

Whilst Hofmann again misses out through injury, Makoto Tamada could make his
return to action for Honda after undergoing intense physiotherapy on a wrist
injury. The Japanese rider was replaced in China by Jurgen Van Den Goorbergh,
who rode to a highly creditable sixth place, and will undergo a late fitness
check in France before deciding whether to compete for a place on this Sunday's
starting grid. Meanwhile, Team KR have confirmed that they will return to action
this weekend with British rider Shane Byrne in the saddle after missing the last
round due to a lack of engine parts.

250cc World Champion Dani Pedrosa will be looking for a repeat of his victory at
Le Mans last season as he aims to re-establish control of the quarter-litre
class. The Spaniard lost his championship lead to Andrea Dovizioso for the first
time in a year after missing out on the podium in the last two races, both won
by Casey Stoner, and now lies in third place behind the Italian and the
Australian respectively.

The unpredictable nature of the 125cc class has continued this year with the
opening three rounds all won by different riders. Mattia Pasini's victory in
China, following on from wins for Marco Simoncelli and Mika Kallio at Jerez and
Estoril respectively, means the run of races without a back-to-back winner now
stands at to forty-two races - a record which promises to be extended even
further as consistent performer Fabrizio Lai looks to overturn Kallio's
one-point lead at the top of the championship with his debut win this weekend.

INFO 2005/51. 10-05-2005