Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Capirossi seals third straight pole in Qatar

Loris Capirossi took his third pole position in as many weeks with a
scintillating series of laps at the end of today's qualifying session for the
Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar. After starting from the front of the grid and
going on to win the race at both Motegi and Sepang, the Ducati rider is on
course for an incredible hat-trick at the fourteenth round of the season, where
he will be joined on the front row by Sete Gibernau and Valentino Rossi.

"This is a difficult track for us but we made quite a good job during the
practice," said Capirossi, who's time of 1'56.917 was more than two seconds
quicker than last year's pole time, set by his current team-mate Carlos Checa.
"We tested a lot of rear tyres and found the best solution for the front one,
but for the race it will be very difficult. For sure, 21 laps in these
conditions will be tough for everybody but we will see in the morning. I am very
happy with this pole position, especially because it's not so easy to overtake
at this track."

Gibernau, the winner of last year's inaugural race at the Losail International
Circuit, ended the session just 0.077 seconds adrift of the Italian and was the
only serious challenger for pole, with recently-crowned World Champion Rossi a
further 0.366 seconds back. Colin Edwards, who finished second to Gibernau last
season, had held on for top spot for lengthy spells during the session but
eventually dropped back to fourth place in the late push for times on qualifying

Edwards is joined on the second row of the grid by Marco Melandri, who set the
quickest time in the morning free practice session despite still riding with 35
stitches in the foot injury he sustained in a crash with Rossi at Motegi less
than two weeks ago. Carlos Checa snatched the final second row spot from Shinya
Nakano with a quick final lap that saw the Japanese rider relegated to seventh

Nakano will be the only Kawasaki rider on the grid tomorrow after Olivier Jacque
was flown back to Europe for further checks on a back injury he sustained in a
crash yesterday morning. The former 250cc World Champion, riding in place of the
injured Alex Hofmann, was released from hospital but requires further diagnostic
tests before beginning an intense recovery period ahead of the next round at
Phillip Island, Australia, in two weeks' time.

Nicky Hayden was unable to extend his run of top six grid positions beyond
eleven races after qualifying eighth fastest and joins Nakano on the third row,
as does Toni Elias, the weekend's surprise package so far. Eliaas has lapped
consistently amongst the top riders and today managed the ninth fastest time
despite running into the gravel trap early in the afternoon session. The Spanish
youngster starts tomorrow's race looking to emulate the achievement of his
current Yamaha team-mate Ruben Xaus, who took a shock podium finish here last
season when riding for Ducati.

Jorge Lorenzo boosted Spain's hopes of glory in the 250cc race with an emphatic
pole position ahead of his return to race action following a one-race ban.
Lorenzo, who won the 125cc race here last year, posted a time of 2'02.154 to
hold off the challenge of Alex de Angelis, with Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa
completing the front row. Pedrosa leads Stoner by 38 points in the current
standings with tomorrow the first of four races that will decide the destiny of
the World Championship. Last year's 250cc winner Sebastian Porto starts from the
second row of the grid in fifth place.

In the 125cc class Mika Kallio took his eighth pole position of the season,
competently holding off the challenge of Gabor Talmacsi and Mattia Pasini with a
final lap of 2'09.455. Julian Simon made the most of a tow from Manuel Poggiali
to knock the former World Champion off the front row in fourth place whilst
Thomas Luthi, who leads the series by eight points from Kallio, was caught out
by a surprising return to action from Angel Rodriguez. The Spaniard snatched
the final second row spot and relegated the Swiss rider to ninth place after
being called up as a late replacement for Vincent Braillard.

INFO 2005/149. 30-09-2005