Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Hayden clinches third pole with fastest ever lap of Phillip Island

Nicky Hayden became the fastest rider ever to complete a lap of the legendary
Phillip Island circuit as he obliterated the pole position record in today's
single qualifying practice for the Polini Australian Grand Prix. The American
set a time of 1'29.337 despite being held up by a slower rider just two corners
from the end, his effort beating Valentino Rossi's previous record here by 0.731
seconds and holding off the Italian's own challenge by a single tenth.

"My goal was to lap below 1'29.5 but the qualifying tyres just got better and
better and on the last one I was really going for it," said Hayden, who also
started from pole at Laguna Seca and Sachsenring this season. "The bike is
working well, the tyres have plenty of grip and that's when I love it. It's
always nice to be on pole but it's tomorrow that counts. Everybody in the team
is doing their bit and they're all right behind me so all I can do is try to put
on good show and see what happens."

Rossi was also held up by a slower rider on his fastest lap, eventually
abandoning a potential pole effort to change tyres and launch one final attempt
with just two minutes remaining. However, the World Champion was unable to match
his previous pace and had to settle for second place on the grid as he looks to
score his fifth straight MotoGP victory at this circuit in tomorrow's race. Sete
Gibernau gatecrashed the front row in third place at the expense of his Spanish
compatriot Carlos Checa, who dominated for much of the session but will start
from the front of the second row in fourth place.

Colin Edwards knocked almost two seconds off his best time from a problematic
first day as he moved up to fifth place overall and secured a second row start
between Checa and Max Biaggi, who flirted with the front row positions before
eventually dropping to sixth. Marco Melandri will challenge Biaggi for second
place in the championship from eighth on the grid after being out-qualified by
rookie youngster Toni Elias, who continued his recent form after recovering from
a wrist injury to record his best MotoGP qualifying position in seventh place.

Further back on the grid Chris Vermeulen will make his MotoGP debut as a
replacement for the injured Troy Bayliss from fourteenth place after an
impressive display. The Australian lapped within a second of his Honda team-mate
Alex Barros and just 2.317 seconds off Hayden's pole time, the pace of which was
highlighted by the fact that WCM rider Franco Battaini did not meet the official
qualifying time after failing to lap within 107% of pole.

Vermeulen's compatriot Casey Stoner will start his home race from pole position
after setting the fastest ever lap of this circuit by a 250cc machine with a
time of 1'32.756 in the second qualifying session for the quarter-litre class.
Stoner is targeting his third consecutive victory as he looks to close the
26-point gap to series leader and reigning World Champion Dani Pedrosa, who
starts from the second row of the grid after qualifying sixth fastest. The
Australian is joined on the front row by Jorge Lorenzo, who escaped unhurt from
a high-speed crash in turn one just seconds after setting his fastest lap, Alex
de Angelis and last year's winner Sebastian Porto, who failed to improve on his
provisional pole time from yesterday after suffering from mechanical problems
with ten minutes of the session remaining.

125cc World Championship leader Mika Kallio will start from the second row of
the grid after seeing his nearest title rival, Thomas Luthi, clinch pole
position. Luthi, who lies just two points behind Kallio in the current
standings, clocked a time of 1'37.543 to seal his fourth pole of the season with
a 0.161 second advantage over Mattia Pasini. Gabor Talmacsi and Marco Simoncelli
complete the front row, with the top twelve riders separated by less than a

INFO 2005/158  . 15-10-2005