Press Release
(2006 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Capirossi confirms candidature at final MotoGP preseason test

On a day in which preseason testing drew to a close for MotoGP, the crowds at
the Jerez circuit in southern Spain saw veteran Loris Capirossi demonstrate why
he is a serious title contender for 2006. The Ducati rider today earned the
fastest lap of the three day MotoGP Official Test, a 1 39.411 which knocked
eight milliseconds off Valentino Rossis 2005 pole position record.

The truth is that a lot of things have changed since we tested in November. We
have improved in many areas and now we have a bike which is very competitive
here, we can go round fast and have a good rhythm. We are hoping that things go
well for us at the Grand Prix in less than two weeks, explained Capirossi.

The Italian was also fastest on Fridays session at the Andalusian circuit, just
ahead of team-mate Sete Gibernau, a feat which was mirrored in todays final
outing. Gibernau was the only other rider to break the 140 barrier, and the
Ducati one-two is a positive sign for both the team and their tyre suppliers

Further good news came for the Japanese tyre brand in third place, as after
topping the timesheets yesterday, Shinya Nakano was once again in fine form
onboard the Kawasaki Ninja. He was joined in the top five by fellow Kawasaki
rider and MotoGP rookie Randy de Puniet, who was fifth.

Another rookie to place highly was Spaniard Dani Pedrosa. The reigning 250cc
champion put in the fourth fastest lap a second off that of Capirossi, but will
be pleased at the amount of miles he has been able to put in on the RC211V this
weekend. Team-mate Nicky Hayden was the next highest Honda rider in sixth, ahead
of countryman Colin Edwards.

Edwards Yamaha was part of a group of three bikes to go round within a tenth of
each other. Immediately behind the Texan was Toni Elias, at his home circuit and
the final Honda to place in the top ten, who in turn was closely pursued by yet
another strong rookie showing, Suzukis Chris Vermeulen.

Completing the top ten on the timesheets was reigning World Champion Valentino
Rossi. The charismatic Italian was one and a half seconds behind Capirossi on a
day where many teams were focusing their energies on tyre testing. It will only
be with the first free practices and race of the season, which will take place
at the Circuito de Jerez in two weeks time, that the true potential of the
title contenders will become apparent. However todays final day of testing,
under dry sunny conditions with a temperature of around 25 degrees, has served
as a tasty appetiser ahead of March 26ths main course, the Gran Premio de Espaa.

INFO 2006/16. 12-3-2006