Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Qatar GP - Round 14 - MotoGP
Doha - Thursday 29th September 2005 - Free practice

Barros and Byrne focus on set-up in Qatar

The first free practice sessions in Qatar took place under searing sunshine but
track conditions were better than expected yesterday, when the sandy crosswinds
had provided a few worries. The fastest lap-times were already quick, at the
same level as the pole position lap from last year, and it is likely times will
come down even further tomorrow. Alex Barros improved his lap-time from the
morning session by around two and a half seconds, but still found a few similar
front end issues to those that affected his performance in Malaysia, and so
tomorrow will try to find a better compromise between the set-up of the forks
and the front tyre choice. Shane Byrne is increasingly comfortable on board the
Honda and is confident of making a big step up the timesheets as early as
tomorrow morning's session.

Sito Pons - Camel Honda

"In the tests we did here in winter we were quick, but conditions were very
different, it was relatively cool for Qatar. With Alex we still need to find the
right set-up for him to feel good under braking and tomorrow we will focus on
this area alongside the Michelin engineers.  As for Shane, I can see he is
beginning to understand how to manage the Honda more and get the technicians to
adapt it to his style. Now he has to make a step forward with his lap-times and
I think that as he gets the know the track more tomorrow, he could move up the
order considerably."

Alex Barros - Camel Honda -   2'00.084 -  10th fastest

"Unfortunately we're having trouble like in Malaysia while the times are getting
really quick here. Work began quite well, but when we started to push, the
problems with the front surfaced again. I'm not able to ride well, to brake hard
and to get into the corner well because the bike is jumping. I'm forced to brake
with the bike practically upright and then tip it in to make the corner. Perhaps
we still need to find the right front tyre and that's what stopping us going
fast. The tests here went quite well, we were all quite close together then, and
the bike's still the same so I don't think it's a problem with set-up, or at
least not just that. However we have an intense day's work tomorrow to continue
testing, and so we hope to find a solution so we can be competitive again."

Shane Byrne - Camel Honda -    2'02.678 -  17th fastest

"I'm quite happy with how things are going here compared to Sepang. In every
practice session in Malaysia, instead of getting the bike working well, I was
only looking to go as fast as possible. Now I know the bike a little better and
my confidence is rising rapidly. This morning we worked on the set-up and with
every change I noticed improvements and even this afternoon we made another big
step forward. The last tyre I used worked really well, and I think that with a
few minutes more I would have bettered my lap-time. Anyway, we have some good
ideas for tomorrow morning, and even though I'm in the same position today as I
was in Malaysia, I'm much happier because I know we can make even more progress."