Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP : Rossi storms onto front row at Laguna Seca

Round: 8 - Laguna Seca MotoGP
Circuit: Laguna Seca
Date: 10 July 2005
Temp: 19ēC
Weather: Sunny

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards will start from
the first and second rows respectively in the eighth round of the MotoGP World
Championship, after finishing second and fifth fastest in today's sell-out
qualifying session at Laguna Seca. After lapping fifth and sixth quickest in the
morning free practice, both riders were consistently on the pace in the
afternoon heat and are confident of their chances in tomorrow's Grand Prix, the
first to be held on U.S. soil since 1994.

Riding at the Californian circuit for the first time, Rossi produced a stunning
lap to gatecrash the top three at the end of the session and out-qualify ten
riders with previous race experience at this circuit. The only man capable of
lapping faster than Rossi today was local rider Nicky Hayden (Honda), who took
his first ever MotoGP pole position with a time of 1'22.670. Edwards rode
equally hard for a top grid position in front of passionate home support and is
now targeting a second consecutive podium finish following his third-place in
Assen two weeks ago.

Fortuna Yamaha riders Ruben Xaus and Toni Elias will both start from the sixth
row in tomorrow's race. Rubens fastest lap was more than a second quicker than
yesterday and placed him on the 16th spot of the grid. Toni Elias had a minor
crash in the final minutes of the qualifying session which prevented him of
putting in a good result.

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 2nd, 1'23.024

"It was very important to make a good lap time today and to be on the front row
and second place is very good. The team have worked so hard and there was a big
difference in the bike between yesterday and today. This track is very
particular compared to any other circuit in the world so the settings have to be
very particular too. Now I have started to understand the track and I was able
to do a fast lap, but I think I will discover some more secrets in the warm-up.
It's always difficult to win races in MotoGP but this time it's even worse
because there are more riders than usual with a chance of victory - Hayden is
very fast, also Bayliss and Colin. The Americans have an extra motivation but we
all want to win and that is what I am here for. We have a good position on the
grid, now we need to improve the setting some more and choose the tyres. We'll
see what happens at the end of the race."

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 5th, 1'23.469

"It took a big effort to set that lap and I'm actually quite lucky to be on the
second row because we made a small mistake with the front tyre choice at the end
of the session. Anyway, the important thing is that we're on the second row and
I've got a decent race pace. Nicky did a few laps in the 1'23 mark today, which
looks to be the benchmark, and it will be tough to go with that but I'm
confident we can do it. Laguna is a funny track and you never quite know what to
expect on race day because a lot of things can happen, so we'll just concentrate
on the job at hand and go for it. The support here has been amazing all weekend
and I can't imagine what the atmosphere will be like tomorrow. Hopefully we can
give them all something to shout about."

Davide Brivio, Gauloises Yamaha Team Director

"Valentino did a very good lap at the end and he has an excellent position to
start the race, which is important at this circuit. Colin is also in good shape
because he managed to keep a good pace. At the end he qualified on the second
row so I think both Colin and Vale have a chance to stay with the top group in
the race, although they will be 32 hard laps. It will be a big emotion to see
our riders in the yellow and black colours for Yamaha's 50th Anniversary and I'm
sure our riders will try their best to help us celebrate."

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 16th, 1'24.741

"In the official session I took a second off my best lap, but it wasn't enough
to move far up the grid. I like the track, the crowd, the atmosphere, but from
the riders who have done well here in other categories, unfortunately, I am the
only one unable to show my talent. I want to take some good memories away from
here, if not I'll have to be content with my Superbike victory here in 2003."

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team) 17th, 1'25.462

"The crash made things worse, because already we weren't going well. We are
having some problems finding the right set-up but hopefully we can still
improve. It's my first year in the MotoGP-class and I'm working hard to improve
and to get a base to work from. Added to that, Laguna is a complicated track. I
hope that the time remaining will allow me to find a solution so I can go out in
the race in the best shape possible."

Round: 8 - Laguna Seca MotoGP

Circuit: Laguna Seca
Circuit Length: 3610m
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 22.670 (Nicky Hayden, 2005)
Date: 10 July 2005
Temp: 19ēC

Session 1 :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying
 1  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   1'22.670
 2  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   1'23.024
 3  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   1'23.312
 4  T. Bayliss    Honda         AUS   1'23.358
 5  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   1'23.469
 6  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   1'23.493
 7  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   1'23.596
 8  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   1'23.597
 9  M. Tamada     Honda         JPN   1'23.750
10  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   1'23.799
11  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   1'23.905
12  K. Roberts    Suzuki        USA   1'24.011
13  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   1'24.145
14  L. Capirossi  Ducati        ITA   1'24.257
15  A. Hofman     Kawasaki      GER   1'24.480
16  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   1'24.741
17  T. Elias      Yamaha        ESP   1'25.462