Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Day of Champions brings MotoGP paddock back together at Donington Park

The entire Grand Prix paddock was reunited today with riders from the MotoGP,
250cc and 125cc World Championships teaming up with the British public to make
their annual contribution to improving medical aid services in Africa as the
Riders for Health charity held their biggest and most impressive Day of
Champions yet at Donington Park. On the eve of the British Grand
Prix some 3,000 fans poured into an open paddock for a day of festivities that
ranged from a pit-lane walk to stunt shows, sidecar rides, live music, a circuit
ride-in and the afternoon's main event, the rider memorabilia auction.

Despite preparing to sell his leathers off to the highest bidder in the auction,
MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was in anything but charitable mood as he
prepares to defend a 79-point lead at the top of the championship. The Italian
won his first MotoGP race at this track in 2000 and is hoping for a similar
result in front of a vast army of local support. "For sure this is one of my
favourite tracks, it's near my home and I like it a lot," said Rossi.

"It is technical and difficult but always a great pleasure. It is incredible
because I see from 2000 every year there have been more people following me and
all the riders. It has been a fantastic year for me so far and now we're at the
turning point for the second part of the season. It will be difficult but our
target is to arrive on the podium every race and try to make a lot of victories.
The bike is going well and we'll see what happens."

The Italian discovered yesterday that he will have a new rival next season as
250cc World Champion Dani Pedrosa confirmed at a promotional event in London
that he has signed a deal with Honda to ride as part of their official team in
the MotoGP class from 2006. The Spanish youngster, who won the quarter-litre
title at the first attempt last season and currently leads the series by 37
points, tested the Japanese factory's V5 machine at Valencia last November and
expressed his delight at the deal.

"As soon as Honda made the offer we accepted," said Pedrosa. "Both Alberto
[Puig, Pedrosa's manager] and I were very clear - we wanted the best bike more
than we wanted the money. When I tested Honda's MotoGP bike at Valencia I could
tell that it was a bit big for me and my body isn't quite ready for a bike like
that so I will have to train very hard. I am not scared of anybody in MotoGP,
just a little worried about my size."

Whilst Pedrosa will be looking to challenge Rossi for the title next season, the
Italian's nearest current challenger is Marco Melandri, who is looking forward
to racing at a circuit just two kilometres from his Derbyshire home after
crashing out of the race in the USA two weeks ago. "It's a good feeling to be
back in Europe after the experience of Laguna Seca," said Melandri. "It was a
tough weekend for us and I want to get back on the good run of results we've had
so far in the championship. I also want to get over what happened at Donington
last season, when I fell, broke my thumb, had to have an operation and suffered
with the injury for the rest of the season."

Nicky Hayden is also hungry for success after getting his first taste of the
winners' champagne at his home round. The American rider is flying high on the
confidence of his debut victory and is promising plenty more to come. "A repeat
performance of Laguna will be a very long shot but I come here with a new spring
in my step knowing that we have the capability to shock and that is what I want
to do again," said Hayden. "It took me a while to win races back home in AMA but
when I did they seemed to come. I now know I can do it at this level and I won't
be happy till we can do it again."

With Melandri and Alex Barros all escaping unhurt from their race crashes at
Laguna Seca there are no injury worries going into tomorrow's first day of
action, particularly with the 250cc and 125cc riders having benefited from an
extra two weeks' rest since their last Grand Prix at Assen. Australian rider
Casey Stoner lies second to Pedrosa in the quarter-litre class and is hoping to
close the gap this weekend at the circuit where he made his debut as a wildcard
four seasons ago. "A lot will depend on how we can set the Aprilia up because
the Honda is very strong at this circuit and Dani had it all his own way last
year," said Stoner. "Andrea Dovizioso is also good at this track so it will be a
tough race but I'm looking forward to trying to beat them both and consolidate
second in the championship."

Meanwhile, Gabor Talmacsi says he has enjoyed plenty of limelight in his native
Hungary over the past four weeks after becoming the first rider from the nation
to lead the 125cc World Championship but admits there is still plenty of hard
work to be done with eight rounds of the season still remaining. "The people in
Hungary are giving me a lot of support and I hope to stay on top of the
championship on Sunday," said Talmacsi, who is currently level on points with
Mattia Pasini. "125cc racing is very unpredictable and there is a long way to go
but so far the season is going very well for me."

INFO 2005/103. 21-07-2005