Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kawasaki Racing Team


Kawasaki riders, Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann, battled warm and humid
conditions during a busy opening day of practice in preparation for Sunday's
Japanese Grand Prix.

The race is an all-important home event for Kawasaki, with both riders and
technicians focussed on demonstrating the full potential of the Ninja ZX-RR in
the presence of corporate staff and fans alike.

In the build-up to Sunday's 24-lap race Hofmann and Nakano finished the opening
two hours of free practice 14th and 15th fastest respectively. The pair were
separated by just six hundredths of a second.

Nakano spent an intense day evaluating the latest specification ZX-RR motor and
Akrapovic exhaust system, which is expected to make its race debut at Motegi.

The motor is the latest step in the non-stop search for higher top end
performance, with increased engine revs, while maintaining rider friendly
mid-range acceleration and throttle connection.

Kawasaki engineers have collected a mass of data today and will continue the
set-up work with both engine electronics, gearbox and the impressive range of
new Bridgestone tyres tomorrow.

With a tight production deadline only Nakano will use the latest specification
engine this weekend, while Hofmann sticks with the Ninja ZX-RR machine he has
raced in recent Grand Prix events.

The stop-go Motegi circuit, with a lap distance of 4.8 kms and six heavy braking
points, is a difficult set-up compromise with its tricky combination of slow and
some fast corners.

Today's warm and humid conditions are forecast to continue for Sunday's 12th
round of the MotoGP World Championship.

Alex Hofmann: #66 - Fourteenth - 1'49.504

"I'm not happy to be 14th. This is our home race and I want to be able to put on
a better show for all the Kawasaki and Bridgestone fans. I have a good rhythm
for 1'49s laps, but unless you are doing 1'48s on Sunday you will be nowhere. I
knew before coming here that I did not have the option of using the new motor,
that's not a problem. The positive point is that the ZX-RR is much more stable
on the brakes and front-end, which is important here. The problem is finding a
compromise between the stop-go and the faster corners, I don't yet have the
balance right; there is still a lot to be done."

Shinya Nakano: #56 - Fifteenth - 1'49.566

"I expected more today. It seems the latest engine parts have a lot of
potential, but we need more time for set-up. This is especially true of the
electronic mapping and gearbox ratios, which are different because we now have
more revs and top end performance. There is no big problem, but many small
things to find the maximum combination, especially with the new Bridgestone race
tyres. I was 19th on Friday last year and finished on the podium, so I'm ahead
so far!"

Ichiro Yoda: Technical Manager

"We have a new specification engine and exhaust system for Shinya to use this
weekend, with more revs and top-end power available. Today we concentrated on
evaluating set-up - engine mapping, gearbox and tyre combinations to suit this
track - and we will keep working on those areas. The latest front brake discs
from Brembo offer more endurance and stability in the heat and heavy braking at


 1. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP        1'47.952
 2. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team     +0.101
 3. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP         +0.311
 4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team    +0.622
 5. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP      +0.630
 6. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda                  +0.668
 7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda                +0.694
 8. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda                  +0.766
 9. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team        +0.778
10. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP     +0.799
14. Alex Hofmann (GER) Kawasaki Racing Team        +1.552
15. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team       +1.614