Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Asian adventure continues for MotoGP at Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix

After the drama of the twelfth round of the season at Motegi two days ago the
MotoGP World Championship continues its Asian adventure with the second of three
consecutive races on the continent this weekend. Valentino Rossi gets his second
bite of the cherry as he aims to win the title for the fifth successive season,
his first chance disappearing in a cloud of dust after his only race crash of
the season so far in Japan.

Marco Melandri, who also went down in the collision and is highly doubtful to
take part this weekend's event as he concentrates on recovering from a deep
wound to his foot, saw his slim mathematical chances of winning the title also
slip away in the incident, with Max Biaggi now the only man with an outside
chance of stopping Rossi. Biaggi must score thirteen points more than his
compatriot to maintain those hopes this weekend although the odds are steep,
with Rossi already a double-winner at this circuit, including victory on the
Yamaha last year.

Biaggi's chances of taking the runner-up spot for the fourth time in his
premier-class career were boosted by his second successive podium at Motegi,
with Colin Edwards now his closest rival but lying sixteen points adrift in
third place. Whilst Biaggi is also a former winner at Sepang, having taken
victory for Yamaha in the 2002 race, Edwards could only manage eleventh place
for Honda here last season and has not visited the podium since he took second
place in his home race at Laguna Seca.

Troy Bayliss will miss his second successive race due to a wrist injury,
sustained in a motocross training accident in Australia, and will be replaced by
Shane Byrne. The former British Superbike Champion has not ridden since his home
round at Donington Park after a split between Proton Team KR and engine
suppliers KTM but he will have a major chance to impress over the next two
weekends, having also been pencilled in to replace Bayliss at the following
event in Qatar.

Alex Hofmann will also miss out at Sepang after breaking a bone in his foot when
he collided with Roby Rolfo at Motegi. Rolfo escaped unhurt but Hofmann is
definitely out of the next two rounds as he heads back to receive treatment in
Europe. Hofmann's place at Kawasaki will be taken by Olivier Jacque, who also
stepped in for the German earlier in the season and clinched the team's only
podium of the year in China.

Loris Capirossi arrives in Malaysia on top form after taking Ducati's first
victory since their debut success at Catalunya over two years ago. The Italian
signed a new deal with the factory over the summer and is targeting his third
successive podium finish at Sepang as he aims to break into the top five in the
World Championship standings.

Dani Pedrosa will join the long queue of patients at the Clinica Mobile once the
MotoGP freight is unpacked at Sepang on Wednesday, with the Spaniard still
nursing the shoulder injury he sustained in a practice crash at Motegi. Pedrosa
leads the 250cc World Championship by 63 points from Casey Stoner but cannot win
the title at this circuit and will be wary of the threat of the young
Australian. After coming away from the home of Honda with a podium finish,
Stoner will look to build on his 125cc victory at this circuit last season as he
battles to keep his title challenge alive at least until his home round in three
weeks' time. Jorge Lorenzo will not be taking part this weekend after being
suspended for his part in a collision with Alex de Angelis on the final lap in

Thomas Luthi will also be on the treatment table as he tries to recover from the
dislocated shoulder he sustained in a spectacular 125cc crash on Sunday. The
Swiss youngster was lucky to escape from the race without a more serious injury,
not to mention the 20 points he claimed for second place as the race was
red-flagged due to his own crash. Luthi faces a late test to determine whether
he will be fit enough to defend a three-point lead in the championship over Mika

INFO 2005/136. 20-09-2005