Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Dutch TT - MotoGP

The "Cathedral" welcomes MotoGP

Over the past years lots of different phrases have been used to describe the Van
Drenthe Circuit in Assen, the only track to have hosted a Grand Prix every year
since the World Championship's inception in 1949.  Phrases like the "University
of motorcycle racing", or more commonly "The Cathedral", which mark the
gloriously difficult track out for the respect it commands from riders, with the
official title of the Dutch race not even being denominated a Grand Prix, but by
its original name, the TT. To have a good race at this winding track is a sound
achievement, and perhaps for this reason Alex Barros can look back with pride at
some of his greatest memories in racing, which besides the fantastic victory in
2000, include the amazing second place he took in 2002 behind Valentino Rossi,
with a passionate and hard-fought battle between his two-stroke Honda and the
Italian's revolutionary RC211V, which heralded the dominance of the four-stroke
machine. Troy Bayliss can also count himself amongst those to have graduated
with honours at this track, thanks to the victory he took here in 2001 before
arriving in MotoGP.

Sito Pons - Camel Honda

"We come here after a hard race in Barcelona, where our riders showed great
determination and fighting spirit. Alex missed the podium by a whisker, but that
doesn't mean that he wasn't one of the main figures in a high-level Grand Prix,
where the race time was almost fifty seconds quicker than last year. That's why
we're confident he can go well in Assen, another fast and taxing circuit.
Equally I think it's fair to say that Troy made up ten positions to get into the
top ten in Spain. He still wasn't happy with his performance though, and that
shows that he has the will to make another step forward after all the progress
made in Catalunya.

Alex Barros #4:

"Assen is one of the tracks I like best, for lots of reasons. I love technical
and tough circuits, and this is one of those 'par excellence'. It's tight, there
aren't many reference points, there's off-camber bends, so you need to be
precise in your riding, because you're not going straight at any point. It's
just a sequence of curves and changes of direction which all link in to each
other and it requires a lot of physical effort, especially in your arms. I'm
happy to be getting back into form after the Le Mans crash because I want to
enjoy myself in Assen and have a good race at the front for a crowd who love our
sport profoundly."

Troy Bayliss #12:

"I was disappointed to not be able to use the test day after the Grand Prix in
Barcelona due to the rain, because I would have liked to have continued to work
on the bike's set-up, In the race weekend we did some good things, but I need to
make further progress so I can ride as I want. We'll try and get this in Assen,
a physically challenging track, and has the sort of characteristics that most of
us riders really appreciate."