Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP : French MotoGP hit by rain on day one

Round: 4 - Le Mans MotoGP
Circuit: LeMans
Date: 13 May 2005
Temp: 18ēC
Weather: Showers

The Gauloises Yamaha Team's preparations for the fourth round of the MotoGP
World Championship in France were hit by rain on a typically gloomy first day of
action at Le Mans this afternoon. Team-mates Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards
had made a positive start to the weekend with consistently fast times in the
first free practice in the morning, with Edwards topping the time sheets by
0.366 seconds from his team-mate, who was fourth fastest.

However, the dense grey clouds hanging ominously over the legendary circuit
finally gave way halfway into the afternoon session and the riders were forced
to take shelter in the pit box. Whilst the rain quickly ceased and allowed the
riders to return to action for the rest of the session, the track remained damp
and prevented the riders from improving any further, with Edwards and Rossi both
unable to better their morning times and completing just fourteen laps between

The only option for the team was to concentrate solely on gathering information
about the performance of the Yamaha YZR-M1 in the damp conditions, with the
unpredictable weather expected to continue for the rest of the weekend and a
very real possibility of a third wet race in succession. Alex Barros (Honda)
holds the quickest time overnight after posting a lap of 1'31.171 on his ninth
lap of the afternoon session, just before the rain struck, with Edwards fourth
and Rossi fifth overall.

For the Fortuna Yamaha pairing of Toni Elias and Ruben Xaus it was a day of
mixed results. Elias continues to make steady progress and finished the first
day 13th, despite a few set-up concerns. Meanwhile his team-mate Xaus had
another unlucky crash when the start of rain caught the Spaniard out.
Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 4th, 1'34.701

"I get along with this track and so does the bike. This morning I was turning
out 1'34 after 1'34 and I was comfortable, the bike felt great. We began the
afternoon session testing out a couple of tyres for Michelin but they weren't
really what we were looking for; then we returned to the same tyre we had in the
morning and it started raining. We don't know what to expect for the rest of the
weekend in terms of the weather but whether it's rain, hail, snow or sunshine,
I'll be ready."

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 5th, 1'35.067

"I was also trying a different tyre for Michelin at the start of the afternoon
session and we stayed out there maybe a bit too long as it wasn't right. I came
in to change but then it started raining and we ended up further down the time
sheets than we would like to be. It's only free practice, though, so it doesn't
matter. After that the conditions were very difficult as it was drying in some
areas but very wet in others so we didn't really learn anything. This morning
things went well and I was confident of a good session in the afternoon. We used
the base we had found for a dry race in China and it was working well. The
weather is not looking good and if it rains I'm just hoping we can find a good
setting, like in China, although I'd prefer it to be dry. I'm a bit fed up
actually, it seems as though the bad weather is following us around. Where is

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director

"In the dry conditions this morning both riders were consistently fast so that's
a good sign for the rest of the weekend, regardless of the weather this
afternoon. I think it's important to set the record straight about some comments
reported in the Italian media this morning as they seem to have appeared
elsewhere now. I said that we are going to start working on an extension to
Valentino's contract and we will be discussing it after Mugello. I was then
asked about any plan Valentino might have to drive in Formula One and I said
that would be Valentino's decision and it might happen. I certainly did not say
that he would be in F1 from 2007. From Yamaha's side we hope that he will still
be riding for us but I cannot predict Valentino's future!"

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 13th, 1'35.517

"I've always liked this track, so I'm really looking forward to race day. In
China we had made some big progress and this seemed to continue here in France
this morning when the track was dry. In the afternoon, when it was wet, we used
the same setting as in China. Even though it was working ok I think there is
room for improvement. The change to the bigger class isn't easy, but I'm
enjoying it more and more every day."

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 16th, 1'36.470

"I was following Loris Capirossi and Kenny Roberts when I saw that they lost
their footing on their foot-pegs. Just at that moment I also saw the flags
indicating that it was raining, but before I could react I lost the front of the
bike and crashed. That bad luck just keeps following me around. I hope tomorrow
is a better day."

Round: 4 - Le Mans MotoGP

Circuit: LeMans
Circuit Length: 4180m
Lap Record: 1' 34.088 (Max Biaggi, 2004)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 34.088 (Max Biaggi, 2004)
Date: 13 May 2005
Temp: 18ēC

Free Practice :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  Free Practice
 1  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   1'34.171
 2  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   1'34.290
 3  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   1'34.618
 4  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   1'34.701
 5  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   1'35.067
 6  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   1'35.067
 7  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   1'35.125
 8  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   1'35.127
 9  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   1'35.206
10  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   1'35.359
11  L. Capirossi  Ducati        ITA   1'35.434
12  K. Roberts    Suzuki        USA   1'35.482
13  T. Elias      Yamaha        ESP   1'35.517
14  T. Bayliss    Honda         AUS   1'36.128
15  O. Jacque     Kawasaki      FRA   1'36.451
16  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   1'36.470