Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Rossi leads Italian top four at home Grand Prix

Valentino Rossi extended his lead at the top of the MotoGP World Championship
standings to 49 points after a dramatic home victory ahead of a trio of
compatriots at the Gran Premio Alice d'Italia on Sunday. As Sete Gibernau
sensationally crashed out of the race on the sixth lap to the delight of the
88,367 crowd, Rossi came under intense pressure from Max Biaggi, Marco Melandri
and Loris Capirossi. All three took turns leading the race before a typical late
charge from Rossi that saw him take the flag by 0.359 seconds from Biaggi, with
Capirossi holding off an attack from Melandri in the final corner to clinch
Ducati's first podium of the season in third place.

"That was an incredible race and the best possible finish for the crowd, with
four Italian riders in the top four positions," said Rossi. "It was a great
battle - full of passes and full of attacks. In the beginning I tried to go
alone but I had some problems with the front tyre and decided just to
concentrate on my rhythm. Then Melandri arrived and we had a great fight, also
with Biaggi after that. We set a high pace to the finish, I made my attack with
three laps to go and it worked so of course I am very happy."

Fourth place for Melandri maintains second place in the championship for the
youngster whilst Biaggi now moves up to third ahead of Gibernau with fifteen
rounds still remaining - the first of those coming in just a week's time at the
Spaniard's home circuit of Catalunya. Carlos Checa completed an enjoyable home
round for Ducati as he clinched fifth place after a race-long battle with
Honda's Nicky Hayden, whilst Alex Barros fought his way from the 13th on the
grid to take seventh at the flag.

Makoto Tamada returned from injury in style with an impressive eighth place
ahead of Colin Edwards just seven weeks after breaking his wrist in Portugal,
whilst Shinya Nakano banished the memories of his 300km/h crash here one year
ago to clinch the final top ten position. Alex Hofmann also made an encouraging
return from his wrist injury to take twelfth behind John Hopkins, with Troy
Bayliss, Ruben Xaus and Kenny Roberts completing the points.

Dani Pedrosa became the first Honda rider to win the 250cc race at Mugello since
1997 as he clinched his second successive victory and extend his championship
lead to 21 points over Andrea Dovizioso, who suffered from technical problems
and could only take eighth. Jorge Lorenzo clinched his first podium finish in
the class in second place after starting from pole position, making him the
second youngest rider in history to do so by just five days from Marco Melandri.
Alex de Angelis completed the podium after snatching third place on the line
from Casey Stoner, who now lies just one point behind Dovizioso in the

The day had got off to a dramatic start with the 125cc race, which was decided
in the final corner when race leader Mika Kallio crashed his KTM and was hit by
Hector Faubel, who also went tumbling into the gravel trap. Whilst both riders
miraculously escaped without serious injury, their loss in the race was Gabor
Talmacsi's gain, the Hungarian rider taking his maiden victory after passing
Thomas Luthi in the final corner. Whilst Joan Olive pipped Mattia Pasini at the
line for third place, the biggest smile came from Luthi, who now leads the
championship by eight points from Kallio.

INFO 2005/67. 5-06-2005