Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Capirossi storms to new pole record at Motegi

Loris Capirossi demonstrated why Ducati were so keen to secure a recent contract
renewal for next season with a stunning lap time in today's single qualifying
session for the Grand Prix of Japan. The Italian rider will start the twelfth
round of the MotoGP World Championship from pole position thanks to his record
time of 1'46.363, enough to hold off his closest challenger John Hopkins by
0.498 seconds. The top two riders on the grid are both using Bridgestone tyres,
who celebrated victory in last year's race with Makoto Tamada, whilst Marco
Melandri was the top Michelin qualifier with the final front row spot in third

"For me this is great weekend," smiled Capirossi. "We have worked very hard and
I did a lot of consecutive laps on race tyres today. Bridgestone have done a
great job for their home race and have given us some excellent tyres to choose
from. Tomorrow is a different day, the race is always difficult but I am ready
to do my best."

Valentino Rossi missed out on a final qualifying lap as he arrived at the finish
line just three seconds after the chequered flag was waved, effectively losing
places instead of making them up and eventually dropping to eleventh. It means
the reigning World Champion will start from the fourth row of the grid, his
worst qualifying performance since being sent to the back of the grid at Qatar
last season, as he looks to revalidate his title in tomorrow's race.

Tamada showed signs of a return to his best form after a difficult season,
challenging for pole before dropping to fourth place as Capirossi raised the
stakes in the final moments of the session. The home favourite is joined on the
second row by Max Biaggi and Nicky Hayden, with Biaggi needing to take at least
eight points off Rossi in tomorrow's race order to keep his championship hopes

Biaggi and Hayden are two of six riders still with a mathematical chance of
dethroning Rossi although the more realistic battle between them is for the
runner-up spot, currently occupied by the Italian. Sete Gibernau will be looking
to turn that situation around and put an end to his recent bad luck as he start
from the third row, where he is joined by Carlos Checa and Kenny Roberts. Rossi
is sandwiched on row four between Alex Barros and Alex Hofmann, whilst the World
Champion's team-mate Colin Edwards had an even more disappointing day today as
he struggled to thirteenth place and a fifth-row start ahead of Shinya Nakano
and Tohru Ukawa.

Rossi was not the only World Champion with problems today, 250cc title-holder
Dani Pedrosa crashing from his Honda for the third time this weekend in the
morning free practice session. The Spaniard, nursing shoulder, thumb and elbow
injuries after falling twice yesterday, recovered to set the seventh fastest
time in the afternoon qualifying session but was unable to prevent his
team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama, from clinching a memorable pole position at his home
Grand Prix. Aoyama's younger brother Shuhei also made it a day to remember as he
clinched a front row start in third place, behind Jorge Lorenzo but ahead of
Alex de Angelis. Andrea Dovizioso, Yuki Takahashi and Randy de Puniet join
Pedrosa on the second row whilst Casey Stoner, the Spaniard's main challenger
for the championship starts from just behind them in ninth place.

Neither of the two main title contenders were able to seal a front row start for
the 125cc race as Gabor Talmacsi clinched his first pole position with a time of
1'58.653. Thomas Luthi and Mika Kallio, separated by eight points at the top of
the standings, will both be on row two after qualifying seventh and fifth
respectively, with Kallio unable to improve on his provisional pole time from
yesterday. Local rider Tomoyoshi Koyama will start from alongside Talmacsi after
qualifying second fastest, with Mattia Pasini and Marco Simoncelli completing
the front row.

INFO 2005/133. 17-09-2005