Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
MotoGP powers up for Sepang

The MotoGP World Championship paddock assembled at the Sepang International
Circuit today and prepared to gather its collective strength for another weekend
of intense action just days after arriving in Malaysia from the previous round
in Japan. In energy sapping humidity of 94% and with temperatures touching 30°C,
a handful of riders took the chance to cool off with a ride aboard a Formula 1
powerboat in the nearby capital city of Kuala Lumpur. John Hopkins, Makoto
Tamada, Loris Capirossi, Ruben Xaus and James Ellison saw their thirst for speed
competently quenched by a 256km/h machine driven by eight-time World Champion
Guido Cappellini.

Back at the circuit Valentino Rossi kept his feet on solid ground as he outlined
his intentions for the thirteenth round of the season. The Italian needs a top
four finish to make sure of the crown for the fifth successive season and can
also win it by finishing within twelve points of his only remaining rival, Max
Biaggi. However, the reigning World Champion insists his target will once again
be victory despite missing his first chance to seal the crown with a rare crash
in the race at Motegi four days ago.

"Sepang is one of my favourite tracks," said Rossi. "The bike worked well here
during the tests in the winter even though we had some problems at the time, but
we have made a lot of progress since then so I am interested to see how well
everything works when practice starts on Friday morning. As far as the
championship is concerned, of course I wanted to win it at Motegi but it didn't
happen and we still have five more races to go. I am not feeling any more
pressure than before and I will be riding to win at every round. For sure Max
Biaggi will be strong again but this season there has been a different rider on
the pace at almost every round, like Loris Capirossi in Japan."

Biaggi strengthened his grip on second place in the championship with his second
consecutive podium finish at the last round in Japan. The Italian is 16 points
clear of Colin Edwards and 23 points ahead of his compatriot Marco Melandri, who
joined a long queue of patients at the Clinica Mobile today. Melandri has spent
the week in a wheelchair after suffering a deep wound to his foot in the
infamous collision with Rossi last Sunday and is not planning to ride at least
until Saturday morning.

"They let me fly on Monday night and to be honest it was a comfortable flight,
there were no problems," said Melandri. "Right now the injury doesn't hurt but I
know that it will be tough on the bike. Maybe I'll try on Saturday but I have a
lot of stitches and the area is still quite swollen. I don't know if I'll have
the strength I need to control the bike."

Dani Pedrosa also underwent checks from the MotoGP doctors although the outlook
is much brighter for the 250cc World Championship leader, who expects to be back
to full fitness by Friday morning after damaging his shoulder in one of three
practice crashes in Japan. "The shoulder is getting gradually better, I'm
applying ice to reduce the inflammation and these few days have been good for me
to rest and recuperate," reported Pedrosa, who finished second at Motegi despite
the injury and now leads the quarter-litre series by 63 points from Casey
Stoner. "I left Japan completely exhausted from the effort. In the end the
result was much better than we expected but these things just go to show that we
have to keep focused from race to race because the whole situation can change in
one weekend."

125cc World Championship leader Thomas Luthi was also on the treatment table
today, undergoing intense physiotherapy on the dislocated shoulder and ankle
injuries he sustained in a dangerous crash at Motegi. The Swiss youngster leads
the series by three points from Mika Kallio and is confident of defending his
advantage this weekend. "At the moment the ankle is more painful than the
shoulder but I'm planning to ride," he explained. "I don't know exactly how it
will be until I get on the track but I am determined to race on Sunday."

INFO 2005/139. 22-09-2005