Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Grand Prix of Japan
Motegi, Japan
Saturday 17th September


Gauloises Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi faces a difficult task at Motegi tomorrow
and he aims for his twelfth consecutive podium finish this season. The Italian
starts from his worst grid position since the start of the year after setting
the eleventh fastest time in this afternoon's single qualifying session, whilst
his team-mate Colin Edwards is also expecting a tough race as he lines up two
places behind the reigning World Champion in thirteenth.

After two practice days beset by unexpected setbacks, Rossi squeezed every
possible second out of the hour long afternoon session before launching his
qualifying attack. However, as the time ran down he was unable to beat the
chequered flag for one final attempt on a qualifying tyre and could only look on
as he slipped further down the order with other riders posting their fastest
times of the session.

Both Rossi and Edwards knocked over a second off their times from yesterday but
it was not enough to challenge for a top placing on an ultra-competitive grid.
Loris Capirossi (Ducati) will start from pole position after setting a new
record time of 1'46.363 ahead of John Hopkins (Suzuki) and Marco Melandri (Honda).

VALENTINO ROSSI (11th - 1'47.563; 24 laps)

"This morning we made some good progress with the setting of the bike and we
were quite fast, but in the afternoon we went in the wrong direction and it was
probably our worst session of the season. Michelin has done a very good job to
come up with a competitive race tyre but unfortunately we weren't able to get
the best out of it today. In the end we had a bit of bad luck, running out of
time when we tried to change the rear tyre a couple of minutes from the end.
Anyway, tomorrow we will go back to the setting we had this morning and use the
extra data we gathered in the afternoon to try and make some more improvements,
although I think all the riders can only dream about the pace Capirossi had
today. The last time I was so far back on the grid was at Qatar last year but I
made a lot of positions up over the first four laps so I will try to do that
again, only this time finish the race!"

COLIN EDWARDS (13th - 1'47.678; 24 laps)

"We actually went forward with the setting of the bike today and between turns
four and nine we are good. The problems are the sections before and after that,
with the long straights and heavy braking. We're going from 300km/h down to
almost zero, basically, and I don't have enough feeling on the rear. If you are
a couple of inches off the line into those corners then you lose some vital
tenths. Usually the bike is more forgiving than this but for some reason we're
struggling with it here and this is the worst circuit for it to happen. We'll
see what we can work out in the morning but whatever happens it isn't going to
be an easy race starting from so far back."


"Today just goes to show that this sport is not easy. It is always full of
surprises, with top quality opposition, and you can never relax. Both our riders
are in a difficult situation but it will be very interesting to see how the team
reacts. We have had tough Saturdays already this season but we have good
engineers and they don't stop working right up until the start of the race. It
looks like it will be a difficult but interesting day tomorrow!"


 1. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team   1'46.363
 2. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP        1'46.861
 3. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP   1'46.877


 4. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda     1'47.043
 5. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda Team,          1'47.089
 6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team,        1'47.166


 7. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP    1'47.168
 8. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP       1'47.257
 9. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team      1'47.323

11. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team  1'47.563

13. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team,   1'47.678