Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Capirossi takes second consecutive pole at Sepang

Loris Capirossi took his second pole position in just seven days as he stormed
to the top of the time sheets once more in today's single qualifying session for
the Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Capirossi's time of 2'01.731 was a
new pole record at the Sepang circuit and signified a repeat of his grid
position from the previous round at Motegi last Sunday. The Ducati rider is
again joined on the front row by Suzuki's John Hopkins on another memorable day
for tyre manufacturers Bridgestone, who took four of the top five positions.

"The track conditions this weekend are very different to when we tested in the
winter and I think everybody has struggled a little bit," said Capirossi.
"Thankfully for us Bridgestone have brought an excellent tyre and it really
helped. The lap time was good and also my race consistency is not so bad. I am
confident because we have found a good setting for the bike. The improvement
Bridgestone have made with the tyres since Brno means we are now seeing the true
potential of the Ducati. It will be a long, hot race but I am ready."

Sete Gibernau was the fastest Michelin rider today, breaking the Bridgestone
hegemony with the second fastest time of the day on the Honda and securing a
front row start between Capirossi and Hopkins. Kawasaki rider Shinya Nakano
equalled his best qualifying performance of the season to clinch fourth place
and head up the second row ahead of Kenny Roberts and Nicky Hayden, who
dislodged Valentino Rossi with his final lap.

Rossi, who can lift the title tomorrow by finishing within twelve points of Max
Biaggi, will start from the third row after struggling with the set-up of his
Yamaha for the second successive race. The Italian lapped 0.6 seconds slower
than the time he set in qualifying for last year's race and faces an uphill
battle as he aims to clinch the title with a victory, as he has done for the
past four seasons.

The only consolation for Rossi was that his only remaining title rival, Max
Biaggi, was also in trouble today and could only qualify at the back of the
fourth row. Despite his problems Biaggi was one of twelve riders within the
circuit record time of 2'03.253 today, Carlos Checa, Nicky Hayden and Marco
Melandri all dipping under the 2'03 mark as they claimed third row starts.
Melandri's performance was particularly impressive, the youngster riding with 35
stitches in his foot after injuring himself in Japan.

Shane Byrne struggled to make progress with a qualifying tyre after showing
decent pace on race rubber, qualifying 18th fastest in his first appearance for
Honda as a replacement for Troy Bayliss. Olivier Jacque, replacing the injured
Alex Hofmann, qualified in 13th place on the Kawasaki.

Hiroshi Aoyama replicated Capirossi's heroics in the 250cc class, following up
his pole position at Motegi with another hot lap today that sees him at the
front of the quarter-litre grid for the second time in a week. Aoyama crashed
just fifteen minutes from the end of the session but hopped on to his second
bike and charged to a lap of 2'07.860 to head the front row from Dani Pedrosa,
Alex de Angelis and Casey Stoner, who also crashed.

Thomas Luthi made a remarkable return to pole position in the 125cc class just
six days after dislocating his shoulder and injuring his ankle in a crash at
Motegi. The current series leader clocked a time of 2'14.546 to take top spot on
the starting grid by 0.291 seconds from Mattia Pasini, with Gabor Talmacsi and
Mika Kallio completing the front row.

INFO 2005/141. 24-09-2005