Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kawasaki Racing Team


Kawasaki rider Shinya Nakano will start his Ninja ZX-RR from ninth position on
the third row of the grid in tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Nakano's qualifying time was just 0.6s off pole position, in a fiercely
competitive session that finished with the top 12 riders separated by less than
one second.

Teammate Alex Hofmann, making a comeback after eight weeks on the injury list,
qualified an impressive fourteenth. Hofmann is still not 100% fit following
surgery to repair a fractured left wrist.

Nakano was delighted with today's performance on two counts, and is in a
confident mood for tomorrow's 23-lap race.

In both qualifying and race set-up Nakano feels his Ninja ZX-RR is very
competitive, a reflection of recent engine control system improvements and the
latest specification Bridgestone tyres available for this race.

A year ago in this race Nakano walked away from a nightmare crash on the
super-fast main straight, but he has put all that behind him this weekend.

Nakano's qualifying time was one second faster than for this race in 2004 and he
feels he is well prepared for a strong points-scoring result tomorrow.

Meanwhile Hofmann is just happy to be back racing in MotoGP after a frustrating
two months as an unwilling spectator. Hofmann, still short of race fitness, is
treating the Mugello weekend as a means of rebuilding confidence and familiarity
with his Ninja ZX-RR in the world's toughest class of motorcycle racing.

In today's two hours of free practice and qualifying both Nakano and Hofmann
concentrated on race set-up, with Nakano completing a productive evaluation of
race tyres.

Further refinements to front and rear chassis balance also produced
improvements, on a track that requires smooth and agile transition through a
sequence of fast curves.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - Ninth - (1'49.856)

"The times are very and close and I'm feeling very good about today, it is a
boost to be this close to the front group. More importantly I think the gap is
also very close on race tyres and, if I can make a good start, I am confident of
a strong race. After I tried some changes in the morning session I was able to
settle on an improved chassis balance. The ZX-RR is faster here than last year,
which shows that we are making progress in the right direction with the latest
engine and chassis improvements."

Alex Hofmann: #66 - Fourteenth - (1'51.056)

"Overall I'm happy with the progress I have made over the past two days,
although I'm not pleased to be 14th. But I don't think I can expect much more
after being away for two months, and I have just concentrated on getting track
time. There was a big push for fast times, but I worked mainly for the race,
especially to improve the set-up for rear grip, which I have had a problem with
at this track. This will be my first race since the beginning of the season at
Jerez and I aiming to finish in the points."

Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"I'm satisfied with the performance of both Shinya and Alex today. Shinya did a
fantastic qualifying lap and is close on times. With a good start he can race
with the front group. Our bike may still be down on top speed to some rivals at
this track, but Shinya has shown that the ZX-RR is competitive through the fast
corners and infield section. For Alex, to be 14th after just two days back on
the bike shows that when he is 100% fit he can be even closer to the front."


 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team  1'49.223
 2. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP      +0.138
 3. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda                  +0.235
 4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda                +0.323
 5. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP          +0.333
 6. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team     +0.410
 7. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP     +0.582
 8. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team        +0.588
 9. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team       +0.633
10. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda       +0.728
14. Alex Hofmann (GER) Kawasaki Racing Team        +1.833