Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Rossi takes fifth win from six at Catalunya

Valentino Rossi continued his incredible start to the 2005 MotoGP World
Championship with his fifth victory from six rounds at the Gran Premi Gauloises
de Catalunya on Sunday. In front of a record crowd of 105,698 fans at the
Montmelo track on the outskirts of Barcelona, home favourite Sete Gibernau could
do nothing to prevent a breathtaking charge to the line from the World Champion,
who smashed the circuit record by almost 1.5 seconds with just three laps
remaining to open up an insurmountable advantage as the chequered flag was

"To do the fastest lap three laps from the end at a track like this is amazing -
it was around two seconds faster than the last lap last year and it shows the
fantastic job Michelin have done with tyre endurance," explained Rossi, who was
racing in front of a Spanish crowd for the first time since a controversial
last-corner pass on Gibernau in the opening round of the season at Jerez.

"I was a little worried before this weekend about the reaction from the crowd
but I was so happy with the reception I got. It shows that motorcycle fans are
the best kind and especially here in Spain, where it is always a pleasure to
ride. The advantage in the championship is allowing the team to work in a
relaxed way and we are having a lot of fun, which is an extra motivation in

Marco Melandri remains second in the championship standings, 58 points behind
Rossi, after clinching the final place on the podium for the second successive
season at this track. The Italian youngster led the race in the combative early
stages and was involved in a thrilling battle on the final few laps as he held
off the attentions of Honda colleagues Alex Barros and Nicky Hayden, who were
forced to settle for fourth and fifth place respectively.

Max Biaggi did his best to get involved in the podium struggle but was some way
adrift of Hayden in sixth place as he failed to follow up a strong showing in
his home Grand Prix at Mugello last weekend, when he finished second. Biaggi
remains third in the World Championship, four points clear of Gibernau and ten
behind Melandri.

Colin Edwards rode a lonely race to seventh place after struggling with tyre
problems in the latter stages of the race, although by that time he had escaped
an intense struggle for positions in the middle of the pack involving Troy
Bayliss, Shinya Nakano and Ruben Xaus. Ducati pair Carlos Checa and Loris
Capirossi had also formed part of the skirmish but dropped away drastically in
the second half of the race, when they also encountered tyre troubles in rising
temperatures at the notoriously demanding Spanish circuit.

David Checa produced a stirring ride to finish in thirteenth place, just 3.5
seconds behind his brother Carlos in only his second MotoGP appearance. Checa's
performance was made all the more remarkable by the fact he missed the first day
of practice as he waited on standby for Toni Elias, who attempted to ride
through the pain of a broken wrist before eventually stepping aside on Friday
evening. The final point-scoring positions were taken by Roby Rolfo and Kenny

Despite Gibernau's disappointment in the MotoGP race there was plenty for the
local crowd to celebrate in the 250cc class as Dani Pedrosa took his third
straight victory by a comfortable margin of 5.637 seconds over Casey Stoner.
Pedrosa was forced to battle his way through the pack in an explosive start to
the race after stalling his bike on the line, his cause aided by crashes to
front-runners Jorge Lorenzo, who broke his collarbone, and Alex de Angelis and a
mechanical problem for Hector Barbera. Stoner now moves up to second in the
championship ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, who clinched a brave third place today
after missing yesterday's final qualifying practice due to injuries sustained in
a high-speed morning crash.

Mattia Pasini became the first rider to take two victories in the 125cc class
this season with a dominant display in the day's opening race, winning by a
9.034 second advantage over Marco Simoncelli and moving to the top of the
championship by a single point ahead of Thomas Luthi, who finished seventh.
Mika Kallio completed the podium today and is now third in the rider standings,
a further point behind LuCthi.

INFO 2005/76. 12-06-2005