Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
MotoGP : Rossi returns to dominant form down under

Round: 15 - Phillip Island MotoGP
Circuit: Phillip Island
Date: 14 October 2005
Temp: 14ēC
Weather: Changeable

Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi continued his love affair with
Phillip Island on the opening day of the Australian Grand Prix as he dominated
today's first free practice sessions in warm spring temperatures and bright
sunshine. The MotoGP World Champion was quickly inside the pace he set on his
way to victory here last season, dipping well under the circuit record with a
time of 1'30.349 to comfortably hold off the attentions of Carlos Checa (Ducati)
after a series of quick laps at the end of the afternoon session. Checa produced
a late effort of his own to reduce the gap to 0.270 seconds, with Nicky Hayden
(Honda) and Sete Gibernau (Honda) the only other riders able to lap within a
second of the Italian.

Colin Edwards was 1.511 seconds adrift of his Gauloises Yamaha team-mate today
as he looked to combine the setting improvements found for the YZR-M1 machine
over the course of the season with the base set-up data gathered for this
circuit during winter testing. The American ended the day with the seventh
fastest time but he is confident of making major improvements tomorrow as he
looks to recover the excellent pace he set here in preseason.

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team), 1st - 1'30.349

"This was a fantastic first day for us, especially the afternoon. In the race at
Sepang a few weeks ago we had a few problems even though we had been very fast
in preseason, and here it has been the opposite way around. We had a few
difficulties in the morning but we worked them out in the afternoon and found a
really good setting. The balance of the bike is excellent and when you have a
good feeling at this circuit you can have a lot of fun. It is an old style track -
very fast and very technical - and you need courage to set a quick lap time.
Normally we start the weekend behind a few people but today we've been in front
and held the advantage all afternoon so I'm really happy. We have some more work
to do tomorrow, mainly with the rear tyre, but at the moment the pace is good.
The motivation in the team is still very strong even though we already won the
championship and we want to stay that way for the final three races of the

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team), 11th - 1'48.985

"This is my favourite track but I didn't enjoy it too much today. I had some
setting and tyre problems and we definitely have some things to work out! I'm
having to fight to turn into the corners and we're nowhere near the level of
feeling that I had with the bike during the preseason tests here. The main
reason seems to be that we've improved the setting of the bike at the majority
of the tracks we've been to this season and here we might just have to take a
step backwards. I set a 1'30.2 during the winter so we know what we're capable
of if we can find the right setting, which I'm confident we can do tomorrow. I
want to be leaving Australia in second place in the championship so that I can
hang on for that runner-up spot in the final two rounds."

Davide Brivio - Gauloises Yamaha Team director

"It's been a good Friday for Valentino, he has quite a good pace and seems to be
comfortable on the bike. Now we will see what further improvements we can make.
Colin is having some problems but the team will work hard tomorrow to bring him
close to the same level as Valentino. He is challenging for second place in the
championship and we have to do everything we can to put him in the right place
to fight for it on Sunday."

Toni Elias (Fortuna Yamaha Team), 8th - 1'31.951

"It's not at all bad. In the morning we began by having a few problems, because
it's a much quicker track than the previous ones. We got through those problems
though, until more came along in the afternoon. I'm happy though because we've
made some progress and 8th is good for the time being. It's very cold and
there's a lot of wind, but everyone has to deal with that I suppose."

Ruben Xaus (Fortuna Yamaha Team), 14th - 1'33.098

"I feel much stranger than I wanted to at this track. I've had some great
experiences here, and have been on the podium on many occasions after some great
races. I'd like to be able to ride differently. There are areas where I was
quicker last year, or where I rode quicker before. It's because of my riding
style though, because when I try to anticipate opening the throttle the tyre
doesn't absorb the power and it slides much more than it should. My position
isn't too bad, the track conditions make it very difficult, and we still need to
test a few tyres."

Round: 15 - Phillip Island MotoGP

Circuit: Phillip Island
Circuit Length: 4448m
Lap Record: 1' 31.102 (Loris Capirossi, 2004)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 30.068 (Valentino Rossi, 2003)
Date: 14 October 2005
Temp: 14ēC

Free Practice :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  Free Practice
 1  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   1'30.349
 2  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   1'30.619
 3  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   1'31.016
 4  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   1'31.316
 5  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   1'31.459
 6  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   1'31.530
 7  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   1'31.900
 8  T. Elias      Yamaha        ESP   1'31.951
 9  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   1'31.988
10  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   1'32.065
11  M. Tamada     Honda         JPN   1'32.364
12  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   1'32.667
13  L. Capirossi  Ducati        ITA   1'32.963
14  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   1'33.098
15  C. Vermeulen  Honda         AUS   1'33.178
16  O. Jacque     Kawasaki      FRA   1'33.346