Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Turkish GP - Round 16 - MotoGP
Istanbul - Friday 21st October 2005 - Free practice

First day of practice at new Istanbul Park circuit

The MotoGP riders today had two and a half hours at their disposal to learn the
new circuit on the outskirts of Istanbul, thanks to a half-hour extension of the
morning session; an extension which will be repeated tomorrow. An astute
decision from the organisers, because the unanimous opinion of engineers and
riders was that the track is a great design and very spectacular, but is
extremely challenging and technical, not only from a riding point of view, but
also in terms of set-up. Alex Barros, who is still suffering physically from his
crash in the Australian race, put in a lot of laps in the morning session as he
began to work on the set-up of his RC211V. Chris Vermeulen, increasingly at ease
on the Honda, was consistently amongst the top ten in the morning, before making
various adjustments to his RC211V using a single rear tyre.

Sito Pons - Camel Honda

"This is a decent track, it's great from a design point of view and also scores
highly in terms of safety, even though there are a couple of areas which could
be improved a bit. Everybody seems to like it though, because it's very varied
and technical but it's also very complicated in terms of bike settings,
especially in setting-up the forks and the front tyre. That's where our riders
are having the problems at the moment. Tomorrow we will get another extra
half-hour to work in and we will try to improve the set-up by working on the
engine management, the suspension and the gearbox."

Alex Barros - Camel Honda -   1'55.670 - 12th fastest

"This is one of the best tracks I've ever seen.  It's technical, with every kind
of corner, slow, double-apexes, blind braking areas, fast corners, up and down
hillsc there's everything basically to get the most enjoyable ride. I would
like to be a little better physically but I don't want to complain because after
Sunday's crash it could be worse. As for the bike, it's quite good in the second
half of the track, but in the first seven corners we're losing a lot still. The
bike doesn't turn and we are very slow. I think there are several things to work
on, from the forks settings, to the suspension and the chassis geometry.
Tomorrow we'll focus on those things."

Chris Vermeulen - Camel Honda -   1'56.665 - 14th fastest

"This morning I felt good almost immediately on this great track, because it's
exciting and enjoyable. On the grip was missing slightly but by the second
session the track had seen some rubber laid down which helped things. This
afternoon I managed to set a better lap-time, but after a few laps with the rear
tyre from the morning, I used just one tyre all session, working through the
bike settings. Towards the end obviously it wasn't going to perform at the same
level. So we didn't really try to do anything out of the ordinary we just worked
on the front, which is improving all the time in terms of feeling. Perhaps
tomorrow, with the help of Michelin, we can try some tyres and get the lap-time
down a bit."