Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
United States Grand Prix
Laguna Seca, USA
Friday 8th July


Yamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards began their
preparations for the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship in front of a
bumper crowd today as the series returned to Laguna Seca after an exile of more
than a decade. It was a day of contrasting experiences for the Yamaha pair, with
the reigning World Champion paying his first visit to the legendary Californian
circuit whilst his American team-mate made an exciting homecoming to a track he
grew up on in the national AMA series.

Whilst Rossi tentatively found his bearings at the rollercoaster track, Edwards
benefited from his previous knowledge of its intricate layout to immediately
begin set-up work in this morning's first free practice, which was split into
two extended sessions of 55 minutes. The Texan lapped consistently amongst the
fastest riders as he ran through a series of suspension and tyre tests, clocking
the sixth quickest time of the day in the afternoon's hour-long second free
practice. Rossi, one of ten riders in the MotoGP class to have no previous race
experience at Laguna Seca, set his best time in the morning and lies ninth
fastest on the combined time sheets. Nicky Hayden (Honda) clocked the fastest
time of the day with a lap of 1'24.228 after overturning Troy Bayliss (Honda) in
the afternoon session.

COLIN EDWARDS (6th; 1'24.696 - 55 laps)

"It's great to be back here at Laguna Seca and the support I've had even today
has been awesome. With this being my home Grand Prix and having Valentino as my
team-mate, the backing for the whole team has been incredible. As far as the
bike is concerned, we've already got the rear end working probably better than
anything I've ever ridden around this circuit and generally it feels great. The
only thing I'm having a little trouble with is keeping the front on the ground
and turning into the corners, so we have a few areas that we need to strengthen.
I'm really happy with my pace and my lap time because I know there is a lot more
to come from us tomorrow."

VALENTINO ROSSI (9th; 1'24.969 - 72 laps)

"This is an 'old style' track and to be honest I think maybe our bike is a
little too fast for it, so today I haven't been able to push to the limit. It is
hard to find the right set-up in these circumstances and at the moment we still
have a lot work to do. We need more time on the track and more kilometres with
the bike to find out where we can push harder, make up some time and be
stronger. I am a little concerned about the safety of the track and today we
will have a meeting with the other riders to discuss it. Anyway, I have enjoyed
riding at Laguna Seca, especially the Corkscrew, because in the past I have only
seen it on the television. The big crowds here show that MotoGP should be in
America, but we also need to make sure it is safe."


"It has been quite a challenge for us to find a set-up for the bike at this
track but thankfully we have the perfect rider to give us the feedback we need
because there are not many people who know this circuit like Colin does. The
first step for us this morning was to find the gearbox setting, which we were
able to do quite quickly, and then start to work on the front and rear
suspension. We have got the rear working quite well but we have some more work
to do adjusting the front spring settings which should give Colin more
confidence in the bike and push for a much better time tomorrow."


 1. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team         1'24.228
 2. Troy Bayliss (AUS) Honda Pons                1'24.451
 3. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda Team           1'24.542
 4. Alex Barros (BRA) Honda Pons                 1'24.564
 5. John Hopkins (USA) Red Bull Suzuki           1'24.679
 6. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing    1'24.696
 7. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP    1'24.802
 8. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP   1'24.938
 9. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing  1'24.969
10. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Team               1'25.042