Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
YRC News
Gauloises Yamaha pair get to grips with Istanbul Park

Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards got their first
taste of the Istanbul Park circuit today as bright sunshine and moderate
temperatures welcomed the MotoGP World Championship to Turkey for the first
time. The riders had an extra half hour of free practice this morning as they
aimed to get to grips with the new track, which proved to be somewhat trickier
than expected, with several riders running off the circuit throughout the day.
Rossi and Edwards were amongst those to make minor miscalculations this morning,
the Italian missing his braking marker and running into the gravel traps on two
occasions and the American losing the front end of his YZR-M1 and sliding off
completely. Edwards' eventful day continued in the afternoon when an engine
problem resulted in a small fire that warmed his ankles but brought no serious
damage to either the rider or machine.

Despite the setback Edwards set the seventh fastest lap of the day over the two
sessions, two places behind Rossi on the combined time sheets, which were headed
by Marco Melandri (Honda).

Valentino Rossi (5th - 1'55.078)

"The track is not so bad - very similar to China but with more up and down and
our problems today are similar to the ones we had there. There are some long,
fast corners and also some slow hairpins; it is difficult to find the right
setting. The bike is not working as well as we would like and we couldn't be at
the top. There is quite a lot of damage to the surface in the hard-braking areas
from the Formula 1 and there are a lot of bumps.

Our problem is mainly with the front end; we need to understand this to be able
to ride the bike at the maximum. Anyway, it is only the first day at a new track
so it is not so bad - tomorrow we will try and understand things a bit better."

Colin Edwards (7th - 1'55.171)

"The crash this morning was a strange one; I felt like I was actually going
slower than I had done on the previous lap but then the front end just went
away. I guess you have to put it down to this being a new track. The bike was
still running on its side for quite a while before I could get over and shut it
off, which seems to have been what caused the problem with the engine in the
afternoon - these things are designed to run standing up!

As far as the track is concerned, it's pretty cool; I like it. The first seven
turns are awesome, although I'm not too sure about that last section, it's a bit
too slow for my liking and I reckon it would be better if they took the right
hand kink out of it. I would like to be a second quicker but we lost a little
bit of time compared to the other guys with the problems we had today so
hopefully we can have an incident-free day tomorrow and make the most of both

Davide Brivio - Gauloises Yamaha Team Director

"Today we made an uphill start! Colin had a small crash in the morning and in
general both riders were struggling for the lap times, but they will come. This
is a new track and Friday is basically the opportunity to check things and see
which is the best way to work. We have collected a lot of information from both
riders and the job for the team now is to look everything over tonight and see
how we can improve the bikes for tomorrow. It is a pleasure for the team to be
competing in a new country like Turkey so hopefully we can enjoy the success
here that we have had at other circuits this season."

Tony Elias (8th - 1'55.208)

"The important thing is that we are in the top ten again. Being at a new circuit
we are all starting from an equal footing, but it is a difficult circuit with a
lot of ups and downs and my Yamaha is maybe more sensitive than some of the
other bikes. I like the circuit a lot, but with the rear-end being a bit
unpredictable, enjoying yourself can be dangerous! We are working hard to
resolve the problem though."

Ruben Xaus (17th - 1'57.058)

"It has been a while since I crashed because we have been working well, we
understand better the characteristics of the bike and have not been taking too
many risks. After changing for a tyre with more grip I tried to push harder into
a corner and the bike locked and down I went.

Because of the crash I lost nearly all of the first session, but in the second I
spent time looking for the right settings and lines. I like the track, I'm not
as comfortable as I would want to be but we are progressing which is the
important thing."

Session 1 :

Pos.Rider         Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying
 1  M. Melandri   Honda         ITA   1'53.506
 2  S. Gibernau   Honda         ESP   1'53.945
 3  N. Hayden     Honda         USA   1'54.774
 4  S. Nakano     Kawasaki      JPN   1'55.015
 5  V. Rossi      Yamaha        ITA   1'55.078
 6  C. Checa      Ducati        ESP   1'55.171
 7  C. Edwards    Yamaha        USA   1'55.172
 8  T. Elias      Yamaha        ESP   1'55.208
 9  J. Hopkins    Suzuki        USA   1'55.292
10  M. Biaggi     Honda         ITA   1'55.478
11  M. Tamada     Honda         JPN   1'55.657
12  A. Barros     Honda         BRA   1'55.670
13  O. Jacque     Kawasaki      FRA   1'55.925
14  C. Vermeulen  Honda         AUS   1'56,665
15  R. Rolfo      Ducati        ITA   1'56.865
16  S. Ito        Ducati        JPN   1'56,691
17  R. Xaus       Yamaha        ESP   1'57.058