Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Barros on top after exciting first day at Sachsenring

Alex Barros set the fastest time despite crashing twice on an incident-packed
first day of the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the Sachsenring.
Within the space of fifteen minutes of the afternoon session the Brazilian had
dropped both his Honda RC211V machines in the final two corners of the
notoriously tricky circuit, where Valentino Rossi had also tested the gravel
traps with only his second crash of the year in the morning's opening session.
However, Barros' fastest time of 1'23.808 after just seven laps remained
untouched and he tops the overnight time sheets ahead of tomorrow's qualifying

"I'm a little disappointed about the two crashes but not too much because I am
still very happy with the job we have done," said Barros, who holds the circuit
record here with a time of 1'24.056 set in last year's race. "This morning the
team gave me a bike that was very competitive and the first crash was probably
caused by a little too much enthusiasm from myself over the first few laps. The
second one is more difficult to explain because I wasn't pushing at all. Anyway
I'm fine, I didn't hurt myself at all and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

Rossi was unhurt in his crash but his confidence was clearly damaged as he
stuttered to the thirteenth fastest time at a circuit he yesterday claimed was
"one of my worst." Ruben Xaus and John Hopkins also crashed in the afternoon,
with the American unable to build on the sixth fastest time in the morning and
eventually dropping to twelfth overall. Xaus, meanwhile, ended the day in 19th

Sete Gibernau bounced back from the disappointment of crashing out of the lead
at Donington Park five days ago to set the second fastest time in both of
today's sessions. After trailing Nicky Hayden by 0.207 seconds in the morning
Gibernau was exactly one tenth closer to Barros' best effort in the afternoon as
he chases a repeat of his victory at this circuit two years ago. Fellow Spaniard
Carlos Checa was also on form, lapping fourth fastest in the morning and third
fastest in the afternoon on the Ducati as he prepares to make the 150th Grand
Prix start of his career.

Nicky Hayden was unable to improve his lap times in the searing afternoon heat,
with ambient temperatures reaching 32&H176;C and 43°C recorded on the track
surface. However, the American held on to third place overall as he looks to
repeat his podium finish from last season and return to the form that saw him
take his debut victory less than a month ago at Laguna Seca. Elsewhere, Olivier
Jacque made his return to competitive action for Kawasaki and lapped 15th
fastest, two places ahead of his team-mate and local favourite Alex Hofmann.

The first qualifying practices for the 250cc and 125cc classes also took place
today, with Alex de Angelis clinching provisional pole for the quarter-litre
race with a time of 1'25.272. The San Marino rider is joined on the provisional
front row by Jorge Lorenzo, who set the pace in the morning free practice, Dani
Pedrosa and Sebastian Porto - the first two men across the line in last year's
race. Casey Stoner, who lies 34 points adrift of Pedrosa in second place in the
championship, qualified sixth fastest.

Mattia Pasini shook off the disappointment of his crash on the warm-up lap for
the second part of a split 125cc race at Donington Park last week to set
provisional pole for Sunday's opening event. The Italian, who is joint leader of
the series with Gabor Talmacsi, clocked a time of 1'28.808 to hold off the
challenge of Mika Kallio by 0.133 seconds. Marco Simoncelli and Tomoyoshi Koyama
complete the provisional front row whilst Talmacsi qualified seventh fastest.

INFO 2005/114. 29-07-2005