Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP : Eventful first day for Gauloises Yamaha team at Motegi

Round: 12 - MotoGP Motegi
Circuit: Twin Ring
Date: 16 September 2005
Temp: 34ēC
Weather: Dry

Gauloises Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards tackled the opening
day of action at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit today as high temperatures and
bright sunshine provided ideal track conditions for the first free practice
sessions of the Grand Prix of Japan. Rossi was the fastest Michelin rider on a
day otherwise dominated by local tyre manufacturer Bridgestone, the Italian
just 0.054 seconds off lap record pace in the afternoon despite suffering from a
gearbox problem in the morning session.

Colin Edwards also had a problematic first day at the difficult Japanese
circuit, suffering only his second crash of the season in the morning and then
struggling to regain confidence in the afternoon. Nevertheless the American
ended the day having established a good feeling for the YZR-M1 machine and he is
confident of making major progress with more time on the bike tomorrow. 

With John Hopkins (Suzuki) setting the pace ahead of Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
and Kenny Roberts (Suzuki), none of Rossi's championship rivals are ahead of him
on today's time sheets as the Italian looks to seal his fifth consecutive title
on Sunday.

This weekend the YZR-M1 introduces updated graphics in the form of newly
designed 'speed bars' on the side of the fairing and other detailed changes.
Observant fans will notice that the new speed bar design is very similar to that
of the recently introduced and all-new YZF-R6. 

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team), 4th - 1'48.574

"We had a gearbox problem this morning with one of the bikes not downshifting
properly so we probably lost about 15 minutes of the session. Also, for the
first time in some years, we are having difficulty with the tyres and we need to
address that. Michelin have always worked very well for us and now they are
working very hard to find a way forward. Taking that into consideration, fourth
place is not so bad but we still have a lot to do. My rivals for the title are
behind me but at the moment I am not thinking about that too much. My target for
Sunday is to finish on the podium and then we'll have a look at where everybody
else has finished. Motegi is not my favourite circuit but there are some
sections that I like, such as the right-hander after the bridge."

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team), 11th - 1'48.985

"I've got no excuses for the crash, it was completely my fault. I got into the
corner too hot. I ran about half a metre off line and lost the front end, trying
to force it back into the corner. Thankfully I'm not used to crashing this
season and you forget how fast these bikes are moving until you jump off! We
lost a bit of time because of it and needed the afternoon to play with the
setting and tyres, but it probably took me four or five laps to get my
confidence back up. By that time I'd used the best part of the tyre and wasn't
able to put a fast lap in at the end. We came here with the setting we found in
the Brno test and it works great at this track. The only problem I had today was
trying to keep the front wheel on the ground so we'll work on that and see what
we can come up with tomorrow."

Davide Brivio - Gauloises Yamaha team director

"As with many Fridays this season we have some work to do with both riders. We
need to understand the bike setting and work hard with Michelin to try
understand the tyres, and it is always hard to do both these things at the same
time. Tonight we will analyse the data and the information that we have gathered
so that we can come up with some solutions tomorrow - this is always the way on
a Friday, it is what they are for! In that respect you could say it was just
'another day at the office' for us!"

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team), 16th - 1'49.584

"Riding the M1 on this track is quiet hard, it's a track with a lot of braking
and you need a set-up focused on the areas where you need to stop the bike. We
began well this morning, with a good rhythm and I think we have improved
compared to the last GP in the Czech Republic. But in the afternoon, things went
badly, I think we maybe took two steps backwards in our set-up. Tomorrow we will
return to the previous setting, and I hope to improve. Regarding these the three
races over the next few weeks; I hope to have finally overcome my scaphoid
injury and get amongst the top ten, beginning with this Sunday."

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team), 19th - 1'51.358

"It's still a new circuit for me, because I only rode here once before last
year. It's complicated with the Yamaha, I'm still looking to enjoy myself on the
bike and find the right feeling. I didn't have a good night's sleep and that has
affected my performance. We have managed to make some changes to both of my
bikes and now the hard work is to determine what goes well and get the bike
set-up so I can improve my lap-times. I'm determined and will not give up trying
to get the best out of my bike."

Round: 12 - MotoGP Motegi

Circuit: Twin Ring
Circuit Length: 4801m
Lap Record: 1' 48.524 (Makato Tamada, 2004)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 46.673 (Makato Tamada, 2004)
Date: 16 September 2005
Temp: 34ēC

Free Practice :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  Free Practice
 1  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   1'47.952
 2  L. Capirossi  Ducati        ITA   1'48.053
 3  K. Roberts    Suzuki        USA   1'48.263
 4  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   1'48.574
 5  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   1'48.582
 6  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   1'48.620
 7  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   1'48.646
 8  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   1'48.718
 9  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   1'48.730
10  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   1'48.751
11  M. Tamada     Honda         JPN   1'48.776
12  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   1'48.898
13  T. Ukawa      Moriwaki      JPN   1'49.238
14  A. Hofman     Kawasaki      GER   1'49.504
15  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   1'49.566
16  T. Elias      Yamaha        ESP   1'49.584
19  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   1'51.358