Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
MotoGP returns to Spain for Gran Premi Gauloises de Catalunya

Just days after a stunning fifth round of the season at Mugello on Sunday the
chase for the MotoGP World Championship title continues apace this weekend at
the Gran Premi Gauloises de Catalunya. This is the 14th consecutive year that
the Montmelo track has been used since its inauguration in Barcelona's Olympic
year of 1992 and it is hard to remember a more anticipated event, with home
rider Sete Gibernau desperately in need of a victory in front of a fanatical
local crowd to rescue his MotoGP title hopes.

Gibernau has finished on the podium three times at the Catalunya circuit,
including the last two years, but has yet to take victory in his hometown. Last
year he set a new lap record on his way to finishing in second place after
qualifying in pole position and, with a gap of 67 points now separating him from
Valentino Rossi at the top of the standings, will be looking for revenge on the
World Champion after a controversial defeat in their last appearance in front of
the Spanish fans at the opening round of the season in Jerez.

Unfortunately for Gibernau, Catalunya is one of Rossi's most successful
circuits, being one of the five at which he has stood on the top step of the
podium on six occasions. Rossi is also the only rider to have won in all three
classes at this circuit and, after taking four wins from the opening five rounds
of this season, he will be keen to extend his best start to a season since 2002,
when he won eight out of the opening nine rounds.

Rossi dismissed Gibernau's title chances following his stunning win coupled with
a crash for the Spaniard at Mugello last Sunday, citing compatriots Marco
Melandri and Max Biaggi as his main championship rivals. Melandri, who won the
250cc race at Catalunya in 2002, scored his first ever MotoGP podium at this
track with third place last season and currently lies second in the
championship, 49 points behind the defending champion.

Although Biaggi's second place finish in 2001 is his only MotoGP podium finish
at Catalunya, he has had considerable success there in the 250cc class with four
victories and four pole positions. Biaggi arrives in Spain lying third in the
championship and looking to follow up second place at his home Grand Prix last
Sunday with his first victory in almost a year.

Also looking to build on strong records at the Catalunya track are Ducati pair
Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa. Capirossi took the Italian factory's first,
and so far only, victory there in 2003 and arrives on top form after clinching
their first podium of the season in their home Grand Prix on Sunday. Meanwhile,
local rider Checa scored his first ever win at Catalunya in 1996 and also
finished on the podium in 1997 and 2002, making this the only circuit at which
he has had three podium finishes.

Checa's younger brother David also looks set to compete in his home Grand Prix
in place of the injured Yamaha rider Toni Elias. No official decision has been
made on Elias' condition but, even though he originally targeted a comeback at
this race after breaking his arm in a practice crash just over three weeks ago,
his reappearance looks unlikely. If that is the case Checa will almost certainly
deputise after an impressive showing during qualifying on his MotoGP debut in
Italy, despite encountering technical problems during the race.

250cc World Champion Dani Pedrosa arrives at his home Grand Prix looking for a
hat-trick of consecutive victories and an extension of his lead at the top of
the quarter-litre standings, which now stands at 21 points over Andrea
Dovizioso. Pedrosa's victory in Italy was the 18th time he has stood on the top
step of a Grand Prix podium, making him the most successful teenager of all time
and surpassing the 17 wins achieved by Valentino Rossi. Whilst Dovizioso and
Casey Stoner, who lies just a point behind the Italian in third place, will be
looking to put the brakes on the Spaniard this weekend, his main threat could
come from Honda colleague Jorge Lorenzo. Pedrosa's teenage compatriot finished
second at Mugello to become the second youngest ever podium finisher in the
250cc class after starting from pole position.

An unpredictable season of racing in the 125cc class looks set to continue in
Catalunya, with yet another new face having appeared on top of the podium at
Mugello. Gabor Talmacsi's victory was the first in any class by a rider from
Hungary since Janos Drapal won the 350cc race at the Grand Prix of Yugoslavia at
Opatija in 1973 and meant that, for the first time in history, the opening five
rounds of the series have been won by five different riders. Thomas Luthi's
second place behind Talmacsi means he now arrives at Catalunya, where he scored
his first podium finish two years ago, as the series leader by eight points over
Mika Kallio, who crashed out of the lead in the final corner at Mugello.

INFO 2005/68. 7-06-2005