Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)

Assen (Netherlands), Thursday 1 September: The legendary Van Drenthe Circuit
Assen TT is the venue for the final run-in as the 2005 World Superbike
Championship enters its conclusive phase, with four rounds to be held in the
space of six weeks. The Assen track has always been favourable for the Italian
manufacturer, which has won 18 of the 26 races held there since 1991 and the
Ducati Xerox Team pairing of James Toseland and Rgis Laconi aim to add to that
impressive total this weekend.

Ducati Corse Superbike technical director Ernesto Marinelli explains the
particular nature of the Assen track, which has been slightly modified in view
of major reconstruction work that will radically modify the circuit for the
future. This years changes involve the De Bult and Ruskenhoek curves, which now
bring the lap distance down to 5.997 km.

Assen is a circuit where you need really good handling, there are a lot of
important changes of direction during the lap so the bike must be made to handle
easily to cope with these changes. It is quite a fast circuit as well because of
the esses and long fast curves. We have always gone pretty good here but as
always every year is different and we will for sure have to work hard right from
the start of the weekend.

With the title virtually in the hands of Troy Corser (Suzuki), who has an
advantage of 110 points over Chris Vermeulen (Honda) and 130 over Laconi, the 30
year-old Frenchman wants to score his first Superbike win on Dutch soil to add
to the three victories he has claimed this year and will be chasing the young
Australian hard for the runner-up slot.

For me the most important thing now is to win as many races as possible and try
and catch Vermeulen for second place declared Laconi. Its still possible to
win the championship, but I think now I have to fight for second place with
Chris. Ive never won a race at Assen so now is the time to start because these
two races are very important for the rest of the season. The best thing about
Assen is the grip of the track and the banking of the corners, which is such a
good feeling, and some very fast changes in direction. It is a track that we
never have anywhere else, one of the best in the world, thats why it is so

Toseland has already won at Assen, the 24 year-old British rider thrilling the
packed grandstands last year with a win in race 1 and a second place in race 2
after a superb scrap with Vermeulen. Toseland is lying sixth in the standings,
with one win to his name this season, but a 183 point gap from the leader means
that he will have to relinquish the number 1 plate on his Ducati 999 at the end
of the year.

Ive had a bit of time to think about things in August and come to terms with
losing my championship. It was difficult after being on a high after winning it
last year commented Toseland. Thats been a difficult challenge but now all I
want to do is concentrate on these last four rounds, starting with Assen. That
means coming as high as possible and winning as many races as I can and putting
myself in a good position for next year!. It s been a bit disappointing, Ducati
havent won the championship either so its not been easy. I nearly had two wins
here last year so I like Assen. It s the length of the circuit that I love as
well as the banking and the corner speed. All these factors make it a great race
circuit, a real motorcycle circuit and all riders enjoy racing around here.

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after 8 of 12 rounds):

 1. Corser (Suzuki)          344
 2. Vermeulen (Honda)        234
 3. Laconi (Ducati Xerox)    214
 4. Kagayama (Suzuki)        172
 5. Haga (Yamaha)            167
 6. Toseland (Ducati Xerox)  161

 1. Suzuki    353
 2. Ducati    257
 3. Honda     250
 4. Yamaha    208
 5. Kawasaki  143
 6. Petronas   18