Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP set-up report - Catalunya, Spain

Catalunya Spain

Round six: Montmelo, Catalunya, Spain
Track length: 4727 m
Opened: 1991
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 44.641 (Sete Gibernau, 2004)
MotoGP lap record: 1' 44.641 (Sete Gibernau, 2004)
Last year MotoGP winner: Valentino Rossi
Circuit web site:

2004 MotoGP race summary

Factory Yamaha rider and reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi won his
second consecutive Grand Prix in Catalunya, his third for the year - leading a
charge of three Yamahas into the top four places. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) landed
the first podium of his MotoGP career after a brilliant ride, finishing third
behind Sete Gibernau (Honda), while Rossi's team-mate Carlos Checa rode a
fantastic home race to finish fourth after starting 12th on the grid.

Rossi took the minor advantage from Gibernau for two laps before running wide
and surrendering his place to the Spaniard. The Italian then stuck close to
Gibernau's heels as the two quickly opened a gap over the pursuing pack. Rossi
and Gibernau swapped the lead twice more; before Rossi passed his rival once
again two laps from the end, hanging on to win by less than two tenths of a

2005 YZR-M1 Set-up report

Barcelona offers a main straight capable of encouraging speeds exceeding 335kmh,
and is completed by a sequence of long radius, medium/high speed sweepers and
two tight left-hand hairpins. But the combination of long radius corners riddled
with a variety of cambers makes it demanding on chassis balance. For this reason
the 4727m circuit is always a feature on the pre-season IRTA test calendar, and
is often considered to be the true indicator of a bikes full potential.

Due to the long-radius sweepers front-end feel is a key concern for every rider,
but it must be found without sacrificing the overall balance of the machine, as
too much time is spent feathering the power though the sides of the tyres before
punching out of the turn and onto the next straight. Considered a strength of
the M1 the Yamaha engineers will make little modification to the base geometry,
when compared with what is used in Mugello, although the geometry will be
fettled for a little extra front-end bias. Most of this will be achieved,
however, not through chassis modifications, but rather straightforward
suspension preload and damping adjustments.

With the high amount of time spent at full lean slightly lighter spring weights
will be used, when compared with Mugello. This will ensure the Φhlins forks are
still able to absorb the bumps effectively in the turns, while the preload will
be wound on to compensate for any resulting G-force, or the effects caused by
the heavy braking at the end of the main straight.

The damping will then support this set-up - slightly softer on the compression
and rebound - the rear spring preload, however, will be very similar to that
used in the previous round. This will prevent the bike from squatting, and then
running wide under power - especially at the long right-hand run onto the front
straight, which determines the eventual top speed and slipstream potential.

The nature of the circuit ensures tyre life often comes up in many pit box
discussions between riders and crew chiefs, and this will only be amplified if
the Spanish weather provides its anticipated high temperatures. Meanwhile engine
performance will be an area of high importance, and though the M1 has made
progress in this area since the Le Mans test high speeds expected at the end of
the long straight will still prove challenging.