Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kawasaki Racing Team


After a blistering performance during this afternoon's final timed session at
Assen, Kawasaki's Shinya Nakano will start tomorrow's Dutch TT from fourth place
on the grid; his best qualifying position of the season so far.

Nakano was joined in the top ten today by young German teammate, Alex Hofmann,
who will start from tenth position, equalling his best qualifying result of the

With tropical track temperatures nudging 50 degrees, Nakano was one of just five
riders to break the two minute barrier in qualifying on the high-speed, 5.9 km
Circuit van Drenthe.

The one-hour session on the recently modified circuit was managed perfectly by
Nakano's pit crew, led by the experienced Fiorenzo Fanali.

Nakano used the first of his three allocated soft qualifying tyres early in the
session to grab provisional pole, which held for almost 30 minutes. He then
dropped down the order as he concentrated on vital race tyre evaluation for

Nakano was then serviced by two precision pit stops in the final minutes, for
two further runs on qualifying tyres. He improved his time by 0.6s on his final
lap, to leapfrog from ninth to fourth, and finished the session as the top
Bridgestone qualifier.

Hofmann was also in excellent form and was regularly in the top ten, but missed
his chance to go faster as the session closed in a busy period of fast laps.

Most importantly, today's practice and qualifying sessions produced improved
performance from a new compound and construction Bridgestone tyre, which was
supplied to Kawasaki for the first time today.

Combined with improved chassis balance, the latest tyres showed consistent speed
and endurance, which has given the Kawasaki team an optimistic outlook for
tomorrow's 19 lap race.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - Fourth - 1'59.760

"From the beginning of the session I had a very good feeling, especially from
the new Bridgestone tyre. My team did an excellent job of managing our test
programme and my pit stops, and this gave me a chance to go fast. I had very
good balance from the ZX-RR today and was able to hold high corner speeds, but
it wasn't an easy day in these very humid conditions. Our race package looks
okay for tomorrow and I'm looking forward to starting so far up the grid for the
first time this season."

Alex Hofmann: #66 - Tenth - 2'00.298

"I'm a little bit angry with myself; I'm tenth while Shinya is fourth and I
would like to be closer to him. But overall I had some good pace today from our
race tyres and just concentrated on race rhythm. On the last lap there was a lot
of gambling going on by all the riders for a fast time. There has been a lot of
tyre work here, but just as in Barcelona we will see how it ends up in the race,
but it looks positive after today."

Ichiro Yoda: Technical Director

"We had much better spring balance and set-up for this track today, and the
Bridgestone qualifying tyres worked very well in these conditions. The new
compound and construction race tyre that Bridgestone supplied appears to be very
consistent for pace and endurance, so I'm expecting a strong result tomorrow.
Bridgestone did an excellent job today."

Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"Two riders in the top ten on a fast circuit like Assen is another impressive
performance from the ZX-RR and Bridgestone. Now I just hope the weather doesn't
change too much and play an influential role in the race. Our package looks
strong and both Shinya and Alex are in top form. There is definitely more to


 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team  1'58.936
 2. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP      +0.311
 3. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP     +0.696
 4. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team       +0.824
 5. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda                +0.848
 6. Colin Edwards (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team      +1.070
 7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team     +1.200
 8. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda                  +1.296
 9. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda                  +1.345
10. Alex Hofmann (GER) Kawasaki Racing Team        +1.362