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


MotoGP racing made a spectacular return to North America today, with Kawasaki
rider Shinya Nakano finishing in a strong ninth place in the USGP.

Nakano was joined in the World Championship points by teammate Alex Hofmann, who
finished twelfth with another determined ride at the warm and sunny Laguna Seca

The double points-scoring finish by Nakano and Hofmann maintains Kawasaki's
third place in the Constructors Championship, ahead of Ducati and Suzuki.

The race was another encouraging step in both the development of the Ninja ZX-RR
and the progress being made by tyre supplier Bridgestone.

Nakano finished the race just 1.3s out of sixth place, in a closely bunched
group that included factory Honda riders Troy Bayliss (sixth) and Makoto Tamada
(seventh) plus Suzuki's John Hopkins (eighth) and Loris Capirossi (Ducati) who
was tenth.

After being tenth in the opening laps Nakano slotted into eighth behind Hopkins
on lap eight. By lap 14 the pair had Bayliss in their sights and a close battle
unfolded over the remaining 18 laps.

Tamada joined the party and on lap 23 just squeezed past Nakano for eighth place.

This was Nakano's first race on the demanding hillside Laguna Seca track, and he
learnt a great deal as he pushed track experts Bayliss and Hopkins to the limit.

From the fifth row of the grid Hofmann was caught in a bumping battle for track
position on the opening lap and lost ground. After moving into 12th on lap ten,
Hofmann dropped back to 15th with a momentary gearbox problem.

At the final corner on lap 11 Hofmann's bike dropped into neutral as he
downshifted from second to first gear. But the young German rider made a
brilliant recovery to charge back past Toni Elias (Yamaha) and Kenny Roberts Jr
(Suzuki) to score valuable championship points.

This was the first motorcycle Grand Prix in America for 11 years and the race
was watched by a capacity crowd of 57,932 who were delighted with the race
victory by home race favourite Nicky Hayden.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - Ninth

"It was a very hard race but over the final 15 laps I was able to race with
Bayliss, Hopkins and Tamada, which is very encouraging for Kawasaki. I enjoyed
the battle and I was able to learn many things about the track following Troy
and John. The main point is we still need more top end power, plus a little more
bottom end, to have a chance against these guys. The team did a very good job
here and I was able to race with different electronic settings, which helped in
the race. And our Bridgestone tyres had consistent grip for the race today."

Alex Hofmann: #66 - Twelfth

"I was on full lean angle in turn eleven when the gearbox shifted into neutral.
I couldn't click it straight back into first because I would have high-sided. It
was a pity because I was ahead of the group that included Roberts and then I had
do it all again to pass Elias and Roberts back. Eleventh was possible without
that lost time. In the race I was much more comfortable with the track, I now
understand the Corkscrew. I was able to run a consistent pace with good grip and
I'm happy to get some points. The crowd was amazing today."

Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"We made the best results we could out of our package today and both riders took
points to keep Kawasaki third in the Constructors Championship, which is very


 1. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda            45'15.374
 2. Colin Edwards (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team     +1.941
 3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team   +2.312
 4. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda                 +4.216
 5. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP     +4.478
 6. Troy Bayliss (AUS) Camel Honda               +22.381
 7. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda     +22.493
 8. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP        +23.148
 9. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team     +23.625
10. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team   +26.123
11. Ruben Xaus (SPA) Fortuna Yamaha Team         +43.512
12. Alex Hofmann (GER) Kawasaki Racing Team      +50.957