Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP : Gauloises Yamaha make it one-two in Le Mans qualifying

Round: 4 - Le Mans MotoGP
Circuit: LeMans
Date: 14 May 2005
Temp: 16ēC
Weather: Sunshine

Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards took the front
two positions on the starting grid for the French Grand Prix in a grand finale
to today's qualifying session. After a wet morning practice the thick clouds
were broken by bright sunshine that warmed the Le Mans circuit in the afternoon,
giving the riders a crucial opportunity to work on their race set-up for
tomorrow's fourth round of the MotoGP World Championship. It was the most
intense practice session of the season so far as the teams worked frantically in
the pit boxes and the riders pushed harder and harder towards a dramatic climax.

After setting the fastest time in the only other dry practice so far this
weekend, which took place in cool conditions yesterday morning, it was no
surprise when Edwards surged to the top of the time sheets with eight minutes
remaining. Having used a softer compound Michelin tyre for that lap, Edwards
(1'33.449) then moved on to his qualifying tyres and posted two more scorching
times, only to be denied pole position by his irrepressible team-mate with a
pair of stunning laps of his own. Rossi's first effort proved decisive as he
stopped the clock at 1'33.226, some 0.199 seconds inside the pole position
record, before setting a second lap within a tenth of that time.

Despite being a little disappointed about his overall position on the grid
(12th) Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team) was more than happy with his time -
qualifying with a 1'33.991, only 0.765 of a second off Rossi's pole time. His
team-mate Ruben Xaus (1'35.772), however, continues to find it difficult to
improve with minor set-up concerns significantly hindering his lap-times. The
likeable Spaniard is looking forward to finding a solution in tomorrow's warm-up.

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 1st, 1'33.226

"This track wasn't so good for me last year so this pole position is very
important. We suffered a little bit in the practice but we did a great job in
the hour we had this afternoon. The weather was good, the track surface was good
and we were able to take advantage of every available second, working a lot on
the tyres and the suspension. The race configuration is not bad. I put in a
qualifying tyre and I wasn't at 100% on the first lap, but the second lap was
perfect and the grip was excellent. I'm really happy for Yamaha because Colin is
second today. He is a fast rider and his performance shows the potential of the
YZR-M1. I think we can both have a good race tomorrow."

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 2nd, 1'33.449

"At last our hard work in the preseason and over the first three races is paying
off! We pulled the bikes off the truck on Friday morning and basically they
worked straight away. One of them had a simple base set-up and we dialled a few
things into the other one that we thought would work here, and they turned out
to be perfect. My race pace was really good and Michelin had the idea of putting
a slightly softer tyre on before switching to the qualifiers, which really
helped. The whole team have worked tremendously hard so far this season so this
is a welcome boost. The first corner should be a bit gnarly but I'm feeling
confident and, as I said yesterday, I'm ready to race whatever the weather."

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director

"The team did a great job today, especially the riders. It is only Saturday but
we're very happy to have the top two places on the grid. We've worked hard for
the race and it seems both riders can keep a good pace and use all of the
potential of the bike. We'll see how it goes tomorrow but my dream is for the
same result!"

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 12th, 1'33.991

"I thought that I had managed to put myself quite far up the grid with that lap,
but when I came in the pits I saw that I was 12th! Mind you the time was quite
good; I was only 0.7 of a second off pole so I am happy with that. We are
progressing every day, even this weekend when we haven't had that much dry track
time. We still need to do a bit of work tomorrow morning in the war-up, but I'm
confident that if I get a good start I should have a pretty good race."

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 16th, 1'35.772

"I'm in the same position that I was yesterday. I don't know if it's me finding
it difficult to adapt to the bike, the bike that is having difficulty adapting
to me or if I'm just not communicating my needs properly to the team, but some
how I need to find a way to improve things. I've worked hard to earn my strips
to get into MotoGP so I know I'm capable. These MotoGP bikes are designed to be
ridden 110% all the time and the smallest things in set-up can make such a
difference in your lap times. Just look at mine and you can see. We've got work
to do tomorrow, but we will find a solution."

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: 14 May 2005
Temp: 16ēC

Session 1 :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying
 1  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   1'33.226
 2  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   1'33.449
 3  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   1'33.465
 4  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   1'33.467
 5  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   1'33.514
 6  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   1'33.536
 7  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   1'33.594
 8  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   1'33.699
 9  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   1'33.727
10  L. Capirossi  Ducati        ITA   1'33.773
11  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   1'33.876
12  T. Elias      Yamaha        ESP   1'33.991
13  O. Jacque     Kawasaki      FRA   1'34.403
14  K. Roberts    Suzuki        USA   1'35.068
15  T. Bayliss    Honda         AUS   1'35.231
16  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   1'35.772