Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Gauloises Yamaha Team Preview
German Grand Prix, Sachsenring
29th, 30th, 31st July 2005


The Gauloises Yamaha team heads to Germany for the tenth round of the MotoGP
World Championship this weekend just days after sealing its seventh victory of
the season at Donington Park. All of those wins have come at the hands of
reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi, but the recent form of his team-mate
Colin Edwards has suggested that a victory for the American is not too far
around the corner and the pair will be looking to carry their momentum to the
Sachsenring - a circuit that promises to be a major challenge for the 2005
version of the Yamaha YZR-M1.

The German venue's tight and twisty characteristics gave Rossi some unexpected
problems with the 2004 bike last season but this new machine has already proved
that it is a more complete package. The base set-up that the team has found for
both riders has allowed them to be quickest out of the blocks at five of the
last six circuits, where either Rossi or Edwards has set the fastest time in the
first free practice session, and helped Rossi to take victory in wet conditions
as well as dry.

Early practice form has also translated into race results for the pair, with
Rossi in particular demonstrating why he is now a clear favourite for his fifth
consecutive MotoGP World Championship crown. Victory at Donington Park on Sunday
took his season-tally to seven wins, a second and a third place from the opening
nine races of the season and extended his advantage at the top of the standings
to 104 points - just three points less than nearest challenger Marco Melandri's
current total.

Meanwhile, consecutive podium finishes for Edwards followed by a steady fourth
place in the treacherous conditions at Donington Park have propelled him to
third place in the championship, just one point short of Melandri in second
place. The American is now targeting another top finish as he aims to overturn
the Italian and provide Yamaha with a championship one-two ahead of the
four-week summer break before the eleventh round of the season at Brno in the
Czech Republic on August 28th.

There is a slight change to the race day schedule again this weekend, with the
MotoGP event taking place at 12:30pm local time after the 125cc race, which
kicks off the action at 11am, but before the 250cc race at 2pm.


Valentino Rossi says he is ready to put last season's disappointment at the
Sachsenring behind him as he chases another victory to put the seal on an
incredible first half to the season. The Italian struggled with set-up problems
with the 2004 version M1 at the German track and finished fourth, but has more
confidence than ever in the current bike's capabilities - particularly after his
victory at Donington Park on Sunday.

"Donington was a very special win for me because there were two or three times
when I almost didn't make it to the end of the race," says Rossi. "When I saw
the big 'casino' at the beginning I thought to myself: 'I do not want to crash
today.' Of course, I was lucky but I also rode very strongly. I am not as fast
at Sachsenring as I am at Donington, especially last year when we had some
problems with the M1, but I think we are more competitive this season and will
be able to fight for the podium.

"Things have gone very well in the first half of the year but we have some
tracks coming up that I don't like - especially Sachsenring and Brno. I won an
important race against Biaggi at Brno in 2001 but I don't like the track. Also
Sachsenring will be very difficult but hopefully it will be dry and we will be
able to find the best set-up for the bike very quickly, like at the past races.

"Before this season I had never won in the wet with the Yamaha, but this year we
have managed it more than once. I am happy and also surprised with the amount of
points we have scored. My team has worked brilliantly and I hope that continues
in the second half of the season. My aim is to finish on the podium at every
race until the end of the season. Also, my record number of victories in a
season is eleven so I would like to beat that!"


Colin Edwards' recent form has given him plenty of reason for optimism for this
weekend, with second place in the MotoGP World Championship now a realistic
target ahead of the holiday period, even at a circuit that holds one of his
worst racing memories. On his first visit to the Sachsenring riding for Aprilia
two years ago Edwards was forced to leap from his bike when it burst into
flames, famously turning the American into a high-speed fireball.

"The Sachsenring... that's the place we had the barbecue a couple of years ago!"
laughs Edwards. "Actually, despite that, I don't mind the track at all and I
finished fifth there last year, which wasn't too bad under the circumstances.
It's a strange circuit with two very different parts - one where it's very
difficult to overtake and another which requires a massive physical effort
because it works the left-hand side of your body really hard.

"The tyres are under a lot of strain and it's vital to make the right choice so
they don't overheat on the left-side. Then there's the downhill right where you
have to be careful in the first few laps, because that side of the tyre takes a
bit more time to get up to temperature. Generally I get along pretty well with
the layout and there are always a lot of fans so it should be a good weekend.

"Fourth place at Donington was definitely not the result we wanted but the
momentum from Assen to here has been fantastic and I've moved into third in the
championship. I'm only one point behind Melandri and it would be nice to go home
for the summer holidays in second place. That's definitely the goal."


Gauloises Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio says he is looking for one more big
effort from his team before the summer holidays, after an intense first half of
the season that has reaped rewards on all fronts. Not only does Rossi lead the
riders' standings, but Yamaha and Gauloises Yamaha have extended their
advantages in the manufacturers' and teams' championships respectively.

"This is the tenth race of the season so over half of the championship is gone
and we have a good advantage," reflects Brivio. "We had some problems with the
M1 at Sachsenring last season but if that happens again we know Valentino is in
a position where he can control the race because of the cushion he has in the
championship. Of course, our intention is to see both Valentino and Colin at the
front again, as they have been so many times this season, but we will have to
wait and see.

"I am very interested to see how well Colin does in Germany because for the last
three races he has been on top form and his team are working very well. So far
it has been a very exciting season for Yamaha in general so we hope that can
continue in the second half of the year. Everybody in the team has worked so
hard all season but now we have to give one more big effort before taking a well
deserved holiday."


The Sachsenring circuit has featured intermittently on the MotoGP World
Championship calendar since 1961 but Grand Prix racing in Germany has a rich and
colourful history at a variety of legendary circuits. The Solitude, Nόrburgring
and Hockenheim circuits all played host to the series before it moved back to
its current venue in 1998, and it was at Hockenheim that Yamaha enjoyed most

Giacomo Agostini, Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey all took famous
victories there, but perhaps the most remarkable was that of Christian Sarron in
1985. After winning the 250cc title for Yamaha with fifteen wins the previous
year, Sarron stepped up to 500cc racing in impressive style, finishing on the
podium in the second round at Jarama and then ending a 30 year premier-class
victory drought for France with a masterful wet display that left Lawson and
Freddie Spencer trailing in his wake.

"For some people it was a surprise that I won but for me it wasn't," recalls
Sarron, who scored a total of 18 podiums for Yamaha in the premier-class. "I had
won a lot of wet races in the 250cc class and also on a 750 at Hockenheim so I
expected to do well. The only surprise was that I got a really bad push-start
and ended up in last place. It was so hard to see in all the spray but I just
kept passing people and passing people. I didn't even know I was at the front
until my team held out the pit board!

"Of course it was a great feeling and I will always remember my only 500cc win,
although to be honest I don't think it was my best performance and it isn't my
best memory as a rider. That would be the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp in
1989. It was a similar performance but it was in the dry and I came through to
take second place behind Eddie Lawson. In my opinion, the performance is always
more important than the result.

"I have a lot of happy memories from my career with Yamaha and I am so glad to
see them on top of the World Championship again. I think they took a lot of
unfair criticism when the M1 came out but I always believed it was a good bike -
it just needed a rider with the confidence and skill to push it hard enough to
find the right setting. Valentino Rossi has shown himself to be exactly that man
and I am so happy that they found each other."


Located in the heartland of the former East Germany's once glorious motorcycle
racing industry, the Sachsenring is built right next to the old road course, a
characteristic the track shares with Brno in the nearby Czech Republic. The
current circuit could not be more different, its ultra-modern nature showing in
its relatively slow lap times, with a surfeit of slow corners juxtaposed with
some dazzlingly fast ones.

The 3.671km circuit has already changed its layout since it was first used for
MotoGP in 1998, with the addition of a super fast downhill right hander in 2003,
an awesome challenge which has already proved to sort out the best from the
rest. With a relatively short 780m pit straight, running sharply uphill from the
long Queckenberg hairpin, and the throttle only fully open for 10% of the lap,
outright power is not the key at Sachsenring. Some riders use only four of the
possible six gear ratios on a flying lap. The ability to set-up the machine to
deal with the disparity between fast and slow corners is one main goal and as
the track is relatively new, bumps are not that much of a concern in relation to
other circuits.

The main consideration in preparation for Sachsenring is the fact that the track
features only four right handers, but has no less than ten lefts, meaning that
the machine is heeled over to that side for half of the entire lap distance.
Premature wear on one side of the rubber can be minimised by the use of dual
compound tyres, but the section from Omega corner onwards has no less than seven
left hand corners, one after the other, the next right being the dramatic
downhill right hander of the new section. One of the main overtaking
possibilities follows immediately after the aforementioned fast right, the
Sachsen corner being a favourite place to put in a pass before the uphill dash
to the finish line.


Age: 26
Lives: London, UK
Bike: Gauloises Yamaha Team YZR-M1
GP victories: 75 (36 X MotoGP, 13 X 500cc, 14 X 250cc, 12 X 125cc)
First GP victory:  Czech Republic, 1996 (125cc)
First GP: Malaysia, 1996 (125cc)
GP starts: 149 (57 x MotoGP, 32 x 500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 40
World Championships - 6 Grand Prix (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 3 x MotoGP)

Sachsenring 2004 Results (Yamaha): Grid 2nd, Race 4th


Age: 31
Lives: Conroe, Texas
Bike: Gauloises Yamaha Team YZR-M1
First GP: Japan, 2003 (MotoGP)
GP starts: 41 (MotoGP)
World Championships - 2 World Superbike

Sachsenring 2004 Results (Honda): Grid 11th, Race 5th

Sachsenring MotoGP lap record:

Alex Barros (Honda), 1'24.056 - 2004

Circuit best lap:

Max Biaggi (Honda)   1'22.756 - 2004