Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Rossi extends MotoGP lead at drenched Donington

Valentino Rossi came through one of the most accident-strewn races in MotoGP
history to seal his seventh win of the season in today's British
Grand Prix at Donington Park. With torrential rain throughout the day leaving
several centimetres of standing water on the track, Rossi was one of only ten
riders to stay on two wheels throughout the race although he had to avoid
several scares before eventually shaking the attentions of Kenny Roberts and
Alex Barros with a breathtaking surge to victory seven laps from the end.

"That was one of the most difficult races of my career - the conditions were
incredible," reflected Rossi, who crossed the line imitating a violin player by
way of celebration. "It was very, very cold and the track was very slippery.
Today was not like riding a bike, it was like a boat because there was a lot of
water between the wheels and the track - always spinning the rear and locking
the front. I tried to understand the points where I could push more and said:
'Now I try and we see what happens.' I was able to go a lot faster and keep the
advantage. It was a great job by the team because the bike worked well even
though we only had 20 minutes this morning. I did the violin celebration because
after my pole lap yesterday I decided it was a fine art - like the violin!"

Second place for Roberts represented a first podium for the former World
Champion and his Suzuki team since Rio in 2002, whilst Honda's Alex Barros was
able to celebrate his 250th Grand Prix appearance in style by joining the
rostrum in third place. However, the biggest celebrations in the paddock took
place at Yamaha, where Rossi's team-mate Colin Edwards picked up fourth place to
move ahead of Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau into third in the championship, just
one point behind Marco Melandri in second.

Biaggi, Gibernau and Melandri all fell victim to the treacherous weather
conditions, with Biaggi the first rider to crash out at the end of the opening
lap. Melandri soon followed, crashing at the same point as his compatriot on the
exit of Goddards corner and taking Troy Bayliss with him into the dirt, whilst
Gibernau, who was leading the race, went down on lap four. John Hopkins briefly
led on the Suzuki before gradually losing positions and then himself sliding out
of fifth place at the chicane, returning to the track to take eleventh.

By that time local favourite Shane Byrne was already dreaming about what might
have been after delighting the 75,661 home crowd with a charge to sixth place on
the Proton KR-KTM machine before also crashing out, following Ruben Xaus, Nicky
Hayden, Shinya Nakano, James Ellison and Franco Battaini back to the pits.
Carlos Checa and Loris Capirossi produced a late charge to close the gap to
Edwards but were forced to accept fifth and sixth place respectively ahead of
Makoto Tamada, Alex Hofmann, Toni Elias, Roberto Rolfo and Hopkins - the only
eleven riders to finish the race.

The 250cc event was equally chaotic, with several riders falling by the wayside
before a four-way battle for victory ensued between Hiroshi Aoyama, Randy de
Puniet, Casey Stoner and Anthony West, riding the quarter-litre KTM machine on
its race debut. When Aoyama crashed out with fifteen laps remaining it was left
to the other three to do battle in a race decided on the final lap, when Stoner
ran straight into turn one and West had a major slide in Craner Curves to hand
victory to De Puniet. Pedrosa came home in fourth place to maintain his
championship lead over Stoner, which now has now been reduced to 34 points after
the Australian returned to the track to take third place behind his compatriot

The two men leading the 125cc World Championship both crashed out today, Mattia
Pasini sliding out of the warm-up lap in the second part of a race split by
rain, when Gabor Talmacsi crashed twice. Julian Simon took his debut victory
whilst Mike Di Meglio clinched his first podium in second place ahead of his
team-mate Fabrizio Lai.

INFO 2005/108. 24-07-2005