Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Malaysian Grand Prix
Sepang, Malaysia
Friday 23rd September


High temperatures, intense humidity and an inopportune spell of afternoon rain
gave an ominous sign of things to come at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix as
Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards prepared
themselves for a weekend of unpredictable weather at Sepang. The day started
brightly for the pair as they reacquainted themselves with their principal test
venue and built on the settings they had found here during extensive winter
development of the YZR-M1 machines.

However, the ceiling of grey clouds hanging over the ultra-modern circuit grew
darker over lunch and eventually broke just moments before the afternoon
session, interrupting the team's programme and covering the track surface with a
greasy film that made life even more difficult for the riders.

Rossi ended the day in fourth place after lapping just over two tenths of a
second outside the circuit record time of 2'03.253, which he set on the way to
victory in last season's race. Edwards was fifth fastest in the afternoon but
conceded four places on the combined time sheets, with both riders hoping that a
day of dry weather tomorrow will provide a more realistic reflection of their
chances in Sunday's race. Sete Gibernau (Honda) ended the day on top of the time
sheets after clocking a best time of 2'03.299.

VALENTINO ROSSI (4th - 2'03.485; 38 laps)

"The conditions today were quite bad. Already in the morning the track was quite
dirty, with some sand in places, and the grip was not good. Then in the
afternoon it rained so it definitely was not a good day for the weather. Anyway
we were able to test the bike in all conditions and understand a few problems.
The dry setting is not bad but it could be a lot better and I am definitely not
riding as I would like to. In Japan we had problems with the rear of the bike
under braking and here it is similar but not exactly the same. I'm finding it
hard to control the bike through the corner but we have gathered enough data to
make some changes for tomorrow. Hopefully the conditions will be a lot better."

COLIN EDWARDS (9th - 2'04.054; 38 laps)

"The morning session was an absolute disaster for the first ten or fifteen
minutes and the rear tyre really wasn't working well. Michelin helped us out
with a better tyre, we made a few changes to the bike and by the end of the
session it actually felt good. The afternoon was about keeping a level head and
checking how the bike worked in the damp conditions. If it rains like that
before the race starts then we're all in trouble because you'd have to change
tyres every five laps. As it dried out more towards the end I was able to put a
softer cut slick in, which really helped, but in those conditions it's always a
question of who is prepared to take the most risks. It would be fabulous to have
some dry time tomorrow so we can work on the bike and recover the time we lost
because of the weather and the tyre issue today."


"The conditions were very strange in the afternoon - not completely wet for the
first half and not completely dry for the second! It was interesting to check
how the bike worked when the track was actually wet for a few laps and gather a
little information but other than that there is not much we can say, we can only
hope that the weather doesn't stay like this until Sunday. Whatever happens it
looks like it is going to be an interesting weekend and I'm looking forward to
seeing what tomorrow brings."


 1. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP    203.299
 2. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP       203.435
 3. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team   203.477
 4. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team  203.485
 5. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda                203.624
 6. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team      203.788
 7. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP        203.846
 8. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda     203.951
 9. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team    204.054
10. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda Team           204.098