Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP Set-up report - Phillip Island

Circuit: Phillip Island
Country: Australia
Track length: 4448 m
Opened: 1956
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 30.068 (Valentino Rossi, 2003)
MotoGP lap record: 1' 31.102 (Loris Capirossi, 2004)
Last year MotoGP winner: Valentino Rossi
Circuit web site:

The visit to Phillip Island will bring back sweet memories for the Gauloises
Yamaha team and Valentino Rossi. About one year ago it was here where Rossi
wrote history by winning the 2004 MotoGP World Championship, giving Yamaha its
first title in the premier class since 1992, while Rossi won more victories
(nine) in one season than any other Yamaha rider in history. By now this last
record has already fallen at the previous victorious race in Qatar, adding the
tenth race win to Rossi's tally in 2005.

Being one of Rossi's favorite tracks he is the big favorite for success this
year too, but like last year it won't come easy. A year ago 'The doctor' had a
race long battle with Sete Gibernau (Honda), winning the race by only 0.097
seconds. In a hard stopping moment Rossi almost ran off the track on lap one,
giving Gibernau the chance to strike a gap. But by lap seven Rossi arrived at
Gibernau's back wheel and a terrific scrap saw both riders swapping the lead
several times.

Rossi, determined to be champion in true style, overtook Gibernau on the last
lap just for a short moment, losing the lead again when he ran wide at Honda
corner. The decisive move came when Rossi made a seemingly impossible and final
pass on the inside going back into the entrance of Lukey Heights. He held on to
take a magnificent victory by the smallest of margins. Not far behind the two
race leaders Colin Edwards was having a great race too, fighting with Loris
Capirossi and Alex Barros for the last podium spot. At the line Colin came 0.331
seconds short to finish the race in fourth position.

Set-up report YZR-M1

Due to its fast flowing nature Phillip Island is a track most riders love to
race on. It is one of the few circuits where they can unleash their manic 240+
horsepower machines. Contrary to some of the recent circuits where braking
stability and front end feel is crucial, such as Motegi and Sepang, the fast and
flowing nature of Phillip Island requires above all a good linear acceleration
and turning stability. The key to a fast lap is a high-speed average, not just
top-speed, carrying speed and momentum from one to the next long and high-speed
sweeping corners is the key to success.

'The Island', as it is often referred to, offers a variety of cambers throughout
its sweeping 4448m layout, both positive and negative, the rear suspension unit
will need to be on the money so to speak. It will need to offer enough feedback
and predictability, without pumping through its stroke as the rider tries to
drive hard off the side of the tyre, or squatting as the weight transfers onto
the rear. The latter will unload the front of the motorcycle, causing it to
understeer and push wide - affecting exit speed and eventually lap times. On the
other hand too stiff a rear shock will only lead to the front wheel rising while
the rider powers off each of the slow and medium speed turns. It will also lead
to the fast deterioration of the rear tyre and increase the likelihood of a
highside crash.

The rear shock must use a slightly soft spring rate, to aid feel, with a
reasonable amount of preload to prevent rear-end squat. As for the damping, it
will be dialed in to help balance out the package over some of the finer bumps,
located in some of the high-speed corners. The front forks will mimic the rear
set-up to ensure an overall balanced geometry. Too hard and the front will
become vague in its feedback, and at these high speeds and lean angles this can
be detrimental. Too soft and the basic feel will be too loose, not giving the
rider the confidence he needs to carry the high speeds through the corners that
is required to be competitive on the Island.

The M1 engine will be mapped to reach a high top end performance, but not at the
expense of a linear delivery. Acceleration off the side edge of the tyre is the
key to a fast lap time, especially exiting the final fast turn where momentum
can make the difference between winning and losing.