Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
MotoGP returns to Europe for British Grand Prix

After a groundbreaking first Grand Prix on American soil in over a decade two
weeks ago, the MotoGP World Championship returns to more familiar territory this
weekend as the Donington Park circuit in England opens its gates to the series
for the 19th consecutive season. The British Grand Prix is the
ninth round of this year's championship and sees Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi
leading the standings by 79 points, with an intense battle taking place behind
him for second place.

After crashing out of the last round at Laguna Seca, Marco Melandri is now being
closely chased by Honda colleagues Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau and Yamaha's
Colin Edwards, who are all within 14 points of the youngster. Edwards, in
particular, will be looking to make up further ground at a circuit where he took
his best result of last season with a second-place finish behind Rossi and set
the lap record. The American scored consecutive podiums for the first time in
his MotoGP career in the last round at Laguna Seca and is now aiming to follow
in the footsteps of compatriot Nicky Hayden by taking his first victory in the
series to complete the hat-trick.

Hayden's debut win will no doubt see the Honda youngster arrive in Great Britain
on top confidence and determined to prove that victory in his home Grand Prix
was no fluke. Hayden finished fourth in last year's race at Donington, only six
seconds down on Rossi, and is looking to become the first rider to follow up his
maiden win with another victory since his compatriot Kenny Roberts in 1999.

However, whilst the competition for honours this weekend is sure to be tough,
the man to beat again looks certain to be Rossi. The Italian took his debut win
at Donington Park in 2000, following up previous successes there in the 125cc
and 250cc classes, and has only failed to win on one occasion since, when he was
stripped of victory after the 2003 race for overtaking Loris Capirossi under a
yellow flag. Biaggi was consequently handed his first and only premier-class
victory at the circuit to follow up 250cc success in both 1995 and 1996, and
would like nothing better than a repeat result as he chases his first victory in
almost a year.

Whilst Biaggi hasn't won since the Sachsenring last season, Gibernau has now
gone eleven races without a Grand Prix victory since winning the inaugural race
at Qatar last October. The Spaniard has endured his worst start to a season
since joining Honda in 2003 but will be looking to turn things around at
Donington, where he has finished on the podium for the last two years.

The British Grand Prix also sees the return of the 250cc and 125cc
classes, with MotoGP having been supported in Laguna Seca by the national AMA
series. A four-week break will ensure that some of the most exciting young
riders in the world will be doubly motivated at Donington Park, the first of two
consecutive Grand Prix weekends before the summer break. In the 250cc class Dani
Pedrosa continues his title defence with a 37-point advantage over Casey Stoner.
Pedrosa's current score of 143 points is the highest total any rider has amassed
after seven rounds of the series since Max Biaggi in 1996 but Stoner will be one
of several riders looking to halt his progress at Donington. The Australian
knows the circuit well having competed there in the British Championship before
making his Grand Prix debut at the track in 2001 and will be out to make up for
his disappointment last year, when he missed the 125cc race with a broken
collarbone. That particular race was won by Andrea Dovizioso, who led from start
to finish after qualifying on pole. The Italian lies just four points behind
Stoner in the championship and is targeting his debut victory in the class.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Porto will be looking to follow up victory in the last
round of the season at Assen with his first ever back-to-back success.

In the 125cc class Gabor Talmacsi will be aiming to end a record sequence of
forty-six races without a rider winning back-to-back races since Arnaud Vincent
won at Donington and then Sachsenring in 2002. The Hungarian is tied on points
with Mattia Pasini at the top of the championship, the first rider from his
country to do so and the fifth rider to have headed the standings so far this
year after Pasini, Marco Simoncelli, Mika Kallio and Thomas Luthi. The minor
category gets Sunday's race action underway at the later time of 12:30 local
time, with 250cc and MotoGP action to follow at 13:45 and 15:30 respectively.

INFO 2005/100. 19-07-2005