Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Gauloises TT Assen celebrates 75th anniversary with MotoGP

An unprecedented landmark in the history of the MotoGP World Championship will
be reached this weekend as the series heads to the historic circuit of Assen in
Holland for the 75th edition of the Dutch TT. The only event that has remained
on the calendar since Grand Prix racing began back in 1949 has seen constant
changes to what began as a 16km road circuit, keeping it in line with the
swiftly changing demands of the world's fastest and most technologically
advanced motorcycles.

The most recent updates, including alterations at the De Bult and Ruskenhoek
corners and the installation of a revolutionary 'floating' grandstand in front
of the start/finish line, have taken another 30 metres off the overall track
length, which now stands at 5,997, and helped secure a recent deal between the
circuit and Dorna Sports which will see the historic event continue for at least
another ten years. More importantly, the modifications will help to secure the
safety of the flock of MotoGP riders who will this weekend continue their
attempts to put the brakes on reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi, now
leading the series by the biggest points advantage after six rounds of a
championship since Giacomo Agostini back in the 1960s.

The only man to finish ahead of Rossi so far this season is Alex Barros, who
took victory in the second round of the year at Estoril and has also enjoyed
previous success at the Dutch TT. Barros took victory there five years ago, as
well as finishing second in 1994 and 2002, and is not the only rider looking to
repeat history this weekend. Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi have both enjoyed
premier-class victories in the event whilst Marco Melandri, who currently lies
second to Rossi by 58 points in the championship standings, took his first ever
win at Assen in the 125cc class in 1998 and followed up with 250cc success in

Toni Elias, who took his first win at Assen in the 125cc race in 2001, will be
simply be hoping to compete this weekend after missing the last two rounds
through injury. The Spanish rider has benefited from a two-week break since
attempting to return at Catalunya as he aims to recover from fractures to his
leg and wrist, sustained in a testing crash at Le Mans one month ago.

Elias' former team-mate and Spanish compatriot Dani Pedrosa also took his first
ever 125cc win at Assen in 2002 and arrives this weekend looking to extend his
advantage at the top of the 250cc World Championship. The reigning World
Champion currently has a 27-point cushion over Casey Stoner, who finished third
in the 125cc race at this circuit last season after starting from pole position.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Porto, who finished runner-up in the championship to
Pedrosa in 2004, will be looking to get his season up and running at the scene
of his 250cc triumph one year ago. The Argentinean currently lies seventh in the
championship, 74 points adrift of the leader, and has scored just one podium
this season.

The 125cc race promises to be another unpredictable affair, with Mattia Pasini
the only rider to have taken two wins so far this season. The Italian youngster
leads the championship for the first time in his career, with an advantage of
one and two points over Thomas Luthi and Mika Kallio respectively, and is the
fourth rider to do so this season. However, none of the riders in the class have
previously scored victory at Assen and, with just twelve points separating the
top five riders, it could be all change again on Saturday evening.

Traditionally held on the last Saturday in June, the time schedule for the sixth
round of the season differs slightly to other events, opening with the first
free practice for the 125cc class at 8:45am (GMT +2) on Thursday. Saturday's
action starts with the BMW PowerCup race at 11:15am, followed by 250cc and
MotoGP at the normal times of 12:15pm and 14:00pm respectively. The 125cc race
takes place at the revised time of 15:30.

INFO 2005/80. 20-06-2005