Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP : Rossi facing uphill battle to win title at Motegi

Round: 12 - Motegi MotoGP
Circuit: Twin Ring
Date: 17 September 2005
Temp: 31ēC
Weather: Sunny

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 (Gauloises Yamaha Team), 11th - 1'47.563

"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 (Gauloises Yamaha Team), 13th - 1'47.678

"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."

Davide Brivio - Gauloises Yamaha team director

"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!"

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team), 17th - 1'48.861

"We've worked a lot, everybody was very keen. This is a circuit with a lot of
hard braking and we have had some stability problems that we haven't been able
to overcome. It's difficult to ride like this because I can't get all those
kilos to stop! I have to brake too early otherwise I'm going in the corner with
the bike crossed over, which makes the exit slow too. Now I need to work out
which set-up works best, most likely the one from Friday morning. The only thing
I can try to do is improve to leave Motegi with as many points as possible. My
left wrist is no excuse, but I am not yet at 100% and we just have to keep

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team), 19th - 1'49.969

"I improved this morning, but I am still a long way off. The problem is my
adaptation to the bike, not the track. We have been struggling to set up the M1
all year. We're working hard to overcome the problems we've had getting the bike
to behave entering the corners. I can't rely on the top speed of the Yamaha as
much as I did last year when I rode another bike. To use a soft tyre is solving
some of the problems, but that should not be the solution. It is at least good
to know where you are going wrong. I would like to get out of this hole, but if
I can't improve here I will keep working hard at Malaysia and Qatar, where I
finished on the podium last year."

Round: 12 - Motegi MotoGP

Circuit: Twin Ring
Circuit Length: 4801m
Lap Record: 1' 48.524 (Makato Tamada, 2004)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 46.363 (Loris Capirossi, 2005)
Date: 17 September 2005
Temp: 31ēC

Session 1 :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying
 1  L. Capirossi  Ducati        ITA   1'46.363
 2  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   1'46.861
 3  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   1'46.867
 4  M. Tamada     Honda         JPN   1'47.043
 5  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   1'47.089
 6  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   1'47.166
 7  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   1'47.168
 8  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   1'47.232
 9  K. Roberts    Suzuki        USA   1'47.257
10  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   1'47.562
11  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   1'47.563
12  A. Hofman     Kawasaki      GER   1'47.594
13  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   1'47.678
14  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   1'47.878
15  T. Ukawa      Honda         JPN   1'48.194
16  R. Rolfo      Ducati        ITA   1'48.733
17  T. Elias      Yamaha        ESP   1'48.861
19  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   1'49.969