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


Kawasaki riders, Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann, bravely rode through the pain
barrier to record impressive qualifying times for tomorrow's end-of-season
Valencia Grand Prix.

Both Nakano and Hofmann were within one second of pole position, set by Sete
Gibernau, and ahead of seven-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who qualified

Nakano will start from ninth on the third row while Hofmann, in his final race
appearance aboard the Ninja ZX-RR, will start from 12th position.

Nakano required a painkilling injection 30 minutes before the start of
qualifying to ease the discomfort in his bruised left hand, injured when he
crashed in yesterday's first free practice session.

With 18 minutes remaining in the one hour session Nakano posted the third
fastest time, moving up from 14th. He posted another fast lap later in the
session to hold a top five spot before finishing ninth on the grid, just 0.4s
off a front row start.

Nakano's hand injury is at its worst while operating the clutch for downshifts
in the frequent heavy braking zones of the 14-turn Valencia circuit.

Meanwhile, Hofmann continued to defy medical opinion with a gritty and fast
performance, despite riding with a plate and 16 screws in his left ankle and foot.

The 25-year-old German rider has not ridden a MotoGP bike for seven weeks, but
still rose to the occasion and out-qualified factory rivals from Yamaha, Suzuki
and Honda.

Hofmann was firmly established in the top ten until the final minutes of the
session when he made a mistake at the final corner on his final fast run.

While neither is 100% fit, both Nakano and Hofmann believe they have strong race
set-ups for the 30-lap race, which promises to be a gruelling test of endurance
on this compact and physical circuit.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - Ninth - 1'32.663

"That was very difficult, I could not have ridden without an injection in my
hand. Even so, the hard part is under brakes and in the right-hand corners, I
could not push any faster because of my hand. The race will be tough over 30
laps, I'm not sure about the condition of my hand but I will try my best. We
have a strong race set-up, the bike feels good and this morning I did not think
this qualifying position would be possible - I didn't think I could ride this

Alex Hofmann: #66 - Twelfth - 1'32.966

"I'm a little disappointed because I had been faster than Shinya in the three
free practice sessions and I thought I could have stayed ahead this afternoon. I
tried to catch a tow on my final lap, but Barros and Tamada were just playing so
I went alone. I had a fast lap going until the final corner - I lost the rear on
entry and this cost me a lot of acceleration onto the straight. But overall I'm
surprised to be within one second of pole after being away for seven weeks, and
not taking big risks, I cannot afford to crash while I'm not 100% fit. Now I'm
just going out to enjoy my final race with Kawasaki, and do the maximum that my
body will allow - the longest run I've done this weekend is ten laps."

Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"I am full of admiration for the strong comeback by Alex, he is pushing very
hard despite not being 100% fit. This is a very brave performance and Alex
deserves to have a good result in his final race with Kawasaki, I just hope his
physical endurance allows him to do this. It was not so easy for Shinya either,
as he is also suffering, to a lesser extent, with an injury. I hope he can also
have a good race tomorrow."


 1. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP  1'31.874
 2. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP   +0.237
 3. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda              +0.343
 4. Carlos Checa (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team      +0.500
 5. Max Biaggi (ITA) Repsol Honda                +0.510
 6. Colin Edwards (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team    +0.582
 7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team   +0.608
 8. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda                +0.644
 9. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team     +0.789
10. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda     +0.808
11. John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP        +0.911
12. Alex Hofmann (GER) Kawasaki Racing Team      +1.092