Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kawasaki Racing Team


The opening day of free practice for the final race of the season proved a
painful one for Kawasaki riders, Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann, at the Ricardo
Tormo circuit in Valencia today.

Following two crashes in the morning free practice session, Nakano was forced to
stop early in the afternoon session, suffering a painful injury to his left hand.

And while Hofmann completed an impressive 53 laps across the two hours of
practice, he also finished the day feeling less than 100% fit. Today was
Hofmann's first day of track action aboard the Ninja ZX-RR after a seven week
injury lay-off.

After completing just 11 laps in the afternoon free practice session, Nakano
stopped to have further treatment on his injured hand. He finished 15th fastest,
one place behind Hofmann in 14th.

Nakano's day got off to a poor start when he was bumped from his Ninja ZX-RR by
Loris Capirossi's sliding Ducati just seven minutes into the first session.
Later in the session he high-sided, and suffered bruising, but no fractures, to
the back of his left hand.

After treatment at the Clinica Mobile, Nakano rode with painkillers in the
afternoon session, but was still suffering while operating the clutch during
downshifts and braking.

Following further treatment Nakano expects to be fit for tomorrow's qualifying
and Sunday's race.

Hofmann made a safe and steady return to track action, while riding with two
plates and 16 screws in his left ankle and foot.

Hofmann was eager for track time to rebuild his confidence and speed following
his crash in the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. He worked through a range of
technical set-ups and tyre evaluations for Bridgestone and will continue the
programme tomorrow.

Track conditions were cool and overcast for both of today's sessions.

Alex Hofmann: #66 - Fourteenth - 1'34.778

"It feels good to be back in MotoGP and I'm a little surprised that I have made
it back so soon after the injuries at Motegi - no doctors thought this was
possible. I'm feeling a little pain and restricted movement in my left ankle,
but it's acceptable, and I did not want to use painkillers and lose any feeling.
Speed wise I'm quite happy to be just 1.3s off the best time after being away
for seven weeks, but for sure I'm not in 100% condition - either physically or
mentally. When you are away you realise it takes time to adjust to the speed of
these bikes. Today was mainly to get some rhythm, and although I had some
problems with right side grip we have different tyre options to try tomorrow,
one with better edge-grip that Shinya used today."

Shinya Nakano: #56 - Fifteenth - 1'34.832

"I stopped early today to have further treatment and preserve my condition for
Sunday's race, there are still two days to go. I rode with painkillers and they
did a good job, but after 10 laps I felt some sharp pain in the back of my hand,
it was difficult to control the clutch during downshifts and braking. In the
first crash Loris was already sliding when he pushed me off, and then I had a
high-side and injured my hand. It is not a good start to the weekend, but I hope
to recover some strength in my hand and be ready to race."


 1. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP  1'33.884
 2. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team       +0.042
 3. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP     +0.059
 4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda               +0.258
 5. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team    +0.266
 6. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda                 +0.503
 7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team   +0.576
 8. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda                 +0.630
 9. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda      +0.639
10. Colin Edwards (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team     +0.665
11. Toni Elias (SPA) Fortuna Yamaha Team          +0.697
14. Alex Hofmann (GER) Kawasaki Racing Team       +1.314
15. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team      +1.368