Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP : Rossi sets early pace at jubilee Dutch TT

Round: 7 - Assen TT
Circuit: Assen
Date: 23 June 2005
Temp: 34ēC
Weather: Sunny

Gauloises Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi signalled his intentions to repeat last
season's Dutch TT victory at Assen with a dominant performance on the opening
day of this year's 75th anniversary of the legendary event. The reigning World
Champion set the fastest time in the first free practice session this morning,
posting a benchmark lap of 2'01.003 at the recently remodelled track, only
bettered in the afternoon by himself and a last-gasp effort from Loris
Capirossi (Ducati), who tops the overnight time sheets after clocking a time of
2'00.757 on his final lap.

Rossi and his Gauloises Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards worked purely on race
tyres as they began the quest to find an optimum set-up for their YZR-M1
machines before the seventh race of the 2005 season on Saturday. Edwards set the
eighth fastest time overall in the afternoon after shaving over half a second
off his morning time, despite rising temperatures which touched 34ēC in the
early Dutch summer sunshine.

For the Fortuna Yamaha pair it was a reasonably successful day with Ruben Xaus
finishing 14th quickest on day one while his temporary team-mate David Checa
ended with a respectable 17th in only his third MotoGP-weekend.

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 2nd, 2'00.840

"In the morning the bike was already good but we made a few modifications in the
afternoon and, to be honest, it wasn't quite as good as it had been in the
morning and we lost some of the feeling. Anyway, we have a very good base to
work from and tomorrow we can try something different. The changes to the track
have taken a little bit of the taste away, but they were made for safety
reasons, which means they are very important. Despite the changes it is still
Assen and it is always a great pleasure to ride here, it's a very special track.
Once again the bike is working well right from the start and I think if we can
improve the balance and the setting a little more, then we can make a good
result in Saturday's race."

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 8th, 2'01.588

"It's better than it looks! When everything is working perfectly and you find
yourself in eighth place then it looks like you have a problem, but we have some
very clear ideas where we can improve and we still have plenty of time. I feel
like I can find another half-second tomorrow. I've been struggling for traction
since Mugello so we've retraced our steps a little with the setting, made a
pretty major change to the rear of the bike and it feels a lot better. I'm
losing a few tenths in the new sections because I haven't worked out which is
the hot line through there yet but, like when you visit a new track, it always
helps to sleep on it. Also, the corners at Assen are so unbelievably fast
compared to anywhere else that it always takes me a day to get used to where I
can brake - and where I don't have to! At some tracks you can turn up and the
bike works straight away but Assen is not one of them. It puts a lot of load on
the bike and unless you find the right setting you can't go fast."

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director

"Valentino started out very well this morning and found an immediate feeling for
this track, so from then on it has just been a case of fine tuning the small
details. He completed a lot of work today, working on different setting options,
but there is still plenty of room for improvement and tomorrow it will be time
to put it all together. Colin is in a similar situation - he has found a good
base quickly and is now looking for the changes that can help take a few tenths
off his lap time in different parts of the track. It has been a good first day
for us and we have an excellent starting point for the rest of the Grand Prix.
Now we just have to keep working hard tomorrow and make sure we are in the best
possible conditions for Saturday's race."

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 14th, 2'02.790

"We're doing a good job today. About my crash, it was a shame because I lost the
front earlier but I managed to save it. The second time I was not so lucky. The
bike is getting better and I'm getting more confident but I still have to stop
making some of these mistakes. Assen is a really challenging track and proof of
this is evident with how many how many riders ran off today."

David Checa (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 17th, 2'04.259

"This is one of the most difficult tracks in the world championship, more than
Mugello or Catalunya. I've been focused on trying to understand the track so
that I could concentrate on a fast lap this afternoon. I'm feeling confident
about tomorrow and I'm sure we can improve."

Round: 7 - Assen TT

Circuit: Assen
Circuit Length: 5997m
Fastest Lap Ever: 2' 0.757 (Loris Capirossi, 2005)
Date: 23 June 2005
Temp: 34ēC

Free Practice :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  Free Practice
 1  L. Capirossi  Ducati        ITA   2' 0.757
 2  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   2' 0.840
 3  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   2' 1.037
 4  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   2' 1.053
 5  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   2' 1.242
 6  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   2' 1.490
 7  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   2' 1.524
 8  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   2' 1.588
 9  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   2' 2.029
10  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   2' 2.280
11  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   2' 2.289
12  A. Hofman     Kawasaki      GER   2' 2.409
13  T. Bayliss    Honda         AUS   2' 2.424
14  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   2' 2.790
15  M. Tamada     Honda         JPN   2' 3.066
16  K. Roberts    Suzuki        USA   2' 3.609
17  D. Checa      Yamaha        ESP   2' 4.259