Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kawasaki Racing Team


In a dramatic day of fast and hot racing both Kawasaki riders, Shinya Nakano and
Alex Hofmann, failed to finish today's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

The Kawasaki team had held high hopes for their home race, seeking to back-up
the brilliant third place podium finish by Nakano at this race last year.

A huge crowd of 68,000 spectators, basking in warm and humid weather, watched
today's 24-lap race, which was finally won by Loris Capirossi.

From 14th on the grid Nakano started strongly and quickly raced ahead of Kenny
Roberts and Colin Edwards and into 11th place.

Then for five laps Nakano pressured Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Alex Barros
for a place in the top ten.

Just as Nakano felt he was positioned to make a move on his Honda rivals he
suffered an engine problem, which forced his retirement on lap nine. A similar
problem yesterday had cost Nakano the opportunity of a faster qualifying lap.

From 12th on the grid Hofmann was shuffled back in an early battle for track
position on the tight, 4.8 km Motegi circuit. He settled in 16th position, right
behind Tohru Ukawa and Roby Rolfo.

On lap three, as Hofmann tried to squeeze up the inside of Ukawa's Honda he
collided with Rolfo in the turn and both ended the race in the gravel trap.

Hofmann underwent treatment in the circuit medical centre, where he was
diagnosed with a broken bone in his left ankle.

The 25-year-old German will fly to Munich tomorrow (Monday), where he will
undergo surgery on his fractured ankle. While he is certain to miss the next two
races in Malaysia and Qatar, Hofmann hopes to make his racing return at the
Australian Grand Prix, which is just one month away.

Despite the double setback today, the Kawasaki team is moving forward positively
with a continuing technical development programme with the Ninja ZX-RR.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - DNF

"Not a good day for the Kawasaki Racing Team. In the first couple of laps I was
able to overtake and move forward to 11th behind the Honda riders, Barros and
Hayden, although we were a long way back and it was difficult to see the front
group. I thought I had the potential to pass the Honda guys, but then I suffered
the same problem with the engine as I suffered yesterday. At this track you are
using low gears and high revs a lot during each lap. I like both Sepang and
Doha, the next races, but we have to fix this problem if we want to see the
chequered flag."

Alex Hofmann: #66 - DNF

"I'm absolutely devastated; yet another disaster and another stupid injury. We
just don't have the top speed with our bike to overtake on the straights, so we
have to pass into the turns on the brakes. But even then you have to make up at
least 20 metres on the brakes before you're even close enough to pass. I went up
the inside of Ukawa into the corner and I had no other option but to go under
Roby as well, as he'd run wide of the apex. Unfortunately, he didn't know I was
there and turned in right in front of me; we collided and both ended up in the
gravel. I'm sorry for Roby, he did nothing wrong. I guess I will just have to
wait and see what the doctors in Munich say about my ankle, but I'm fairly
confident that a return to racing at Phillip Island will be possible."

Ichiro Yoda: Technical Manager

"Motegi has not been easy for us, with a crash for Alex and some engine problems
for Shinya. I understand the problem with Shinya's motor, but we have to fix the
problem before the next race."

Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"This has got to rate as one of Kawasaki's darkest days since we returned to the
MotoGP World Championship three years ago. I understand that bad luck is a part
of racing, but it's so disappointing that we had to have today's result in front
of representatives from Kawasaki, including the chairman, Mr. Tazaki. Alex was
strong in qualifying and deserved better today than another injury. But now we
need to put today's disappointment behind us and concentrate on improving our
results at the next two races in Malaysia and Doha.