Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Capirossi wins Motegi thriller as Rossi crashes out

Loris Capirossi took his first victory of the season in a dramatic Grand Prix of
Japan at Motegi this afternoon as Valentino Rossi crashed out and missed his
first opportunity to clinch the 2005 MotoGP World Championship. Capirossi made a
cautious start from pole position, chasing early leader Marco Melandri over the
opening laps before being joined by Max Biaggi. Rossi, meanwhile, made excellent
progress from eleventh on the grid and by the time he caught the leading trio on
the fourth lap, Melandri had been relegated to third place.

With Biaggi now leading from Capirossi the pair were left alone at the front on
lap thirteen, Rossi colliding with Melandri into turn ten and sending both
riders tumbling into the gravel. Capirossi then stalked his compatriot for the
next six laps before making his move and opening up an advantage of 1.4 seconds
to take a clear victory, Ducati's first of the season and the first for tyre
manufacturers Bridgestone since winning at the same circuit last year with
Makoto Tamada. The Japanese rider crossed the line in a distant third place to
complete the podium today.

"It is good to have taken the win today but the team have done a great job all
weekend," said Capirossi, who recently signed a new one-year contract with the
Italian factory. "Bridgestone have given us some brilliant tyres here and my
consistency was good over a lot of laps in practice. I had a good rhythm in the
race but sometimes when I tried to pass I was over the limit. When I took the
lead I knew I was faster than Max and I knew it would be my race."

Carlos Checa took the chequered flag in fourth place although he was 22 seconds
down on his victorious team-mate as only eleven riders finished a crash-strewn
race. John Hopkins, who started from the front row of the grid but gradually
lost positions as the race wore on, picked up his best ever Grand Prix finish in
fifth ahead of Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden, Kenny Roberts, Toni Elias, Ruben
Xaus and Franco Battaini. Alex Hofmann crashed and broke his ankle, almost
certainly ruling him out for the rest of the season.

With Alex Barros and Sete Gibernau also crashing out, the only rider with a
mathematical chance of halting Rossi's championship charge over the next five
races is Biaggi, who must score 14 points more than his compatriot to prevent
him winning the title in the next race at Sepang in seven days' time. There was
a complaint against Rossi regarding the incident with Melandri, which was
rejected by Race Direction, meaning a top four finish will be sufficient for the
Italian in Malaysia.

Whilst Tamada was unable to repeat his home heroics in the MotoGP class, there
was a Japanese winner in the 250cc race as Hiroshi Aoyama took his maiden career
victory in front of 68,015 jubilant fans. Aoyama started from pole position but
conceded ground to Jorge Lorenzo in the opening laps before launching an
unstoppable surge in the second half of the race. His team-mate Dani Pedrosa
clinched second place after dodging a collision between Jorge Lorenzo and Alex
de Angelis on the final lap, with Lorenzo later disqualified for his part in the
incident and banned from the next race at Sepang. De Angelis recovered to take
seventh place but the main beneficiary was Casey Stoner, who came through to
complete the podium in third and extend his advantage over Andrea Dovizioso in
second place in the championship. However Stoner now trails Pedrosa by 63 points
with five races remaining.

Mika Kallio was handed victory due to a red flag decision for the second time
this season as the 125cc race was halted five laps from the end following a
spectacular crash on the main straight. Thomas Luthi crashed as he battled with
Kallio for the lead, his ankles clipped and bike destroyed by an unsighted
Sergio Gadea, who was lucky to escape unhurt. Luthi, whilst fortunate to avoid
serious injury, dislocated his shoulder in the crash and is doubtful for the
next round in Malaysia. The Swiss youngster still leads the championship by
three points from Kallio after being awarded second place in today's race, the
final positions being taken back to the previous lap. Hector Faubel completed
the podium.

INFO 2005/135. 18-09-2005