Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Australian Grand Prix 
Phillip Island, Australia
Saturday 15th October 2005


Gauloises Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards both lapped inside the
previous pole record time at Phillip Island today in a highly competitive battle
for grid positions ahead of tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix. Rossi shaved
almost six tenths off the record time he set here two years ago to secure a
front row start in second place behind pole setter Nicky Hayden (Honda).
Team-mate Edwards was in equally impressive form, knocking almost two seconds
off his best effort from yesterday as he became one of only five riders to dip
under the 1'30 mark at the legendary track. 

After tussling with Carlos Checa (Ducati) at the top of the time sheets for the
majority of the session, Rossi launched his attack for pole in the final few
minutes but was held up by another rider in the final two corners of his fastest
lap. The Italian chose not to finish the lap and came in to switch to a fresh
tyre for one last attempt, which didn't quite match the pace of his first and
fell 0.106 seconds short of Hayden's record-breaking effort of 1'29.337. Edwards
improved as the session progressed, ironing out some set-up difficulties with
the YZR-M1 before clocking his personal best time at this circuit and sealing a
second row start in fifth place.

VALENTINO ROSSI (2nd - 1'29.443 31 laps)

"I was quite confident for pole position because the team have done a great job
with the bike this weekend and it worked well from yesterday. I lost my best
opportunity to take pole when I was held up by Xaus in the final corner; I tried
to overtake him but I wasn't able to so I came in and tried again with another
tyre. Anyway, sometimes that happens. I tried my best and my lap time was very
fast but in the end Nicky was faster so congratulations to him - it was a great
ride. I am quite happy because the bike is good and second place is not so bad.
It will be a hard race, especially for the tyres, but hopefully the good weather
will continue tomorrow!"

COLIN EDWARDS (5th - 1'29.943 28 laps)

"When you look back to yesterday the situation today is miles better. It looked
like we were going to have a rough weekend but the team have worked really hard
and we've worked the majority of the problems out. The truth is that we've still
got room for improvement but if we can make progress in tomorrow's warm-up in
the same way we moved forward today then we should be in even better shape for
the race. I must admit that I'm a little relieved because it's a big race for me
and after the first couple of practice sessions I wasn't too confident. Now I'm
looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully I can put on a good show for the
family, friends and fans who have come down to support me."


"There was a lot of traffic on the track today and a lot of riders trying to
follow Valentino to set a good time. The penultimate tyre he used was probably
the best, but he got held up by Xaus and he was very sensible to come in and
take a fresh tyre for another attempt. Anyway, even without the pole position
Valentino has shown himself to be very strong today and he has a good race pace.
Colin has also taken some big steps forward since yesterday, so we are confident
both our riders can have a good day tomorrow.  We have already won the Riders'
and Teams' titles and we hope we can complete the trio with the Manufacturers'
championship tomorrow."


 1. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team,         1'29.337
 2. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team,  1'29.443
 3. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP,    1'42.729


 4. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team,      1'29.775
 5. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team,    1'29.943
 6. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda Team,           1'30.070


 7. Toni Elias (SPA) Fortuna Yamaha Team          1'30.094
 8. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP,   1'30.322
 9. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda      1'30.624