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


Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR riders, Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann, both finished in
the world championship points in a hot and humid Italian Grand Prix at Mugello

Nakano scored his fourth top ten finish of the season with a determined ride
into tenth place, while Hofmann made an impressive comeback from injury to
finish twelfth.

This was Hofmann's first race since the opening Grand Prix of the season at
Jerez, after being sidelined for eight weeks with a fractured left wrist.

After a week of intense physiotherapy Hofmann was able to race today without the
use of painkillers. In a late charge the 25-year-old German won out in a close
battle with Honda rival Troy Bayliss to secure twelfth by just three tenths of a

After settling into 13th place on lap six, Hofmann matched the early pace of
teammate Nakano before his progress was slowed mid-race when his Ninja ZX-RR
developed a small engine misfire for three laps.

Hofmann then overcame an inconsistent engine braking system to chase down
Bayliss before moving ahead of the Honda rider on lap 15 of the 23-lap race.

Nakano started sharply from ninth on the grid, but was frustrated in not being
able to stay with the lead group on the long and fast Mugello circuit.

From lap six Nakano engaged Suzuki rival and fellow Bridgestone rider John
Hopkins in a torrid battle and eventually moved ahead of the American and into
tenth place on lap eleven.

Over the remaining 12 laps Nakano's Ninja ZX-RR pulled a five second gap over
the Hopkins Suzuki and easily held tenth position.

Kawasaki Technical Director Ichiro Yoda said after the race that today's
performance at Mugello reinforced his view that rear traction and acceleration
will remain the focus of Kawasaki's on-going development programme.

The next race is the Catalunya Grand Prix in Barcelona in just seven days, on
June 12.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - Tenth

"Tenth place is not the result I wanted, but that was the maximum I could do
today in these conditions. My start was okay, but I couldn't really stay with
the front group and then I had a very hard battle with John Hopkins. It took a
long time to pass him, but then I was able to hold tenth place to the finish. I
raced with the best tyre and chassis set-up that was available to us, but for
this track but we need to work on getting more acceleration, and also braking."

Alex Hofmann: #66 - Twelfth

"That was a very hard race, it has been a long time I've been away from the
track and I'm just happy to score some good points today. From the start the
speed came easily and I was comfortable and able to close the gap a little to
Shinya. But then my engine sounded strange, it felt like a misfire and I slowed
for a couple laps. For the rest of the race the engine braking was not constant,
but I was able to chase Bayliss and pass him as I could carry more corner speed.
For sure my wrist is not yet 100% but today's race was good therapy, and I
didn't need to use painkillers."

Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"Both Shinya and Alex did an excellent job today, their results were the maximum
that was achievable at this track. We came away with some good points, but for
sure Mugello remains a circuit that does not exactly suit the ZX-RR in its
current stage of development. Alex made a very strong comeback from injury and
overcame a small electronic problem with his engine which slowed him mid-race."


 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team  42'42.994
 2. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda                   +0.359
 3. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team      +3.874
 4. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP      +3.979
 5. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team         +7.898
 6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda                 +8.204
 7. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda                  +11.572
 8. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda       +25.394
 9. Colin Edwards (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team      +25.485
10. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team       +36.549
11. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP          +41.637
12. Alex Hofmann (GER) Kawasaki Racing Team        +43.659