Press Release
(2006 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kawasaki Racing Team
12 MARCH 2006


Shinya Nakano again proved the competitiveness of Kawasaki's all-new Ninja
ZX-RR, by finishing with the third fastest time overall, as the final day of the
IRTA test at Jerez saw a dramatic increase in pace by the frontrunners.

Nakano was closely followed by his Kawasaki teammate, Randy de Puniet, who
waited until the closing stages before putting in a flying lap that saw him jump
up the timesheet to finish an impressive fifth fastest.

Conditions were perfect at Jerez today, with warm and sunny weather greeting the
teams and thousands of fans, as they arrived at the Jerez circuit for the final
MotoGP pre-season test before the championship gets underway in two weeks time.

With tyre choice at Jerez critical, Nakano again started his test schedule
working together with the Bridgestone technicians to confirm his choice of
potential race tyres for the opening round of the season.

The 28-year-old Japanese rider also evaluated some small changes to the fuel
injection system on his Ninja ZX-RR, before trying two different qualifying
tyres in the last 30 minutes of the test.

On his second run on a qualifier, and with just five minutes of the test
remaining, Nakano shaved over half-a-second off the lap record, to finish this
final test with the third fastest time overall.

De Puniet used this morning's test session to evaluate different suspension
options on his Ninja ZX-RR, but switched back to his previous set-up after
struggling to match his pace from yesterday.

The 25-year-old Frenchman lapped consistently throughout the afternoon,
bettering his previous best time on race tyres at the end of his final ten-lap

Like his teammate, de Puniet waited until the very end of the test before trying
two different qualifying tyres, with his final flying lap elevating him to a
position on the timesheet that few expected the MotoGP rookie to achieve in such
a short space of time.

The Jerez IRTA test brings to a conclusion an exhausting series of winter tests
for the Kawasaki Racing Team, the intensity of which has been magnified with the
introduction of the all-new Ninja ZX-RR at Valencia back in November last year.

During the course of the winter the Kawasaki Racing Team have travelled three
times to the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, and once to Phillip Island in
Australia, to test with regular Grand Prix riders Nakano and de Puniet.

Almost simultaneously development tests have been ongoing in Japan, with former
250GP rider Naoki Matsudo shouldering the testing duties. European Test and
Development rider, Olivier Jacque, has also completed two test sessions at the
Doha circuit in Qatar since the MotoGP testing ban ended in January.

The results of this intensive test schedule have been clearly seen during the
IRTA tests at Catalunya and Jerez, with the latest version of Kawasaki's Ninja
ZX-RR providing Nakano and de Puniet with a competitive package that is capable
of running consistently in the top six on race tyres.

After three days of testing and fine-tuning, both Kawasaki riders leave Jerez
confident that, when they return for the opening race of the season in just two
weeks time, they'll be able to run at the front of the race, with a podium
finish a more realistic prospect than at this same race 12 months ago.

Shinya Nakano: 3rd - 1'39.776 (82 Laps)

"Yesterday I felt like we still needed to take another step forward, so today we
spent a lot of time looking for the last small improvements from the suspension,
the fuel injection system and also from the tyres. I'm happy to say we found it,
but then everyone else improved towards the end of the test, so we now need to
make another small step during practice and qualifying for the opening race
here. We know that some of the guys who didn't have such a good test here will
be quick to improve once the season starts, so we can't afford to rest on our
laurels. Having said that, after such a successful test schedule over the past
months, we will arrive at the first race with higher expectations than we have
had in the past, and I'm confident that, in the 2006 Ninja ZX-RR, we have a
package that will enable me to improve upon my fifth place in this race last

Randy de Puniet: 5th - 1'40.468 (95 Laps)

"Today was quite hard. This morning we tried some different suspension
components and settings on the bike, but it wasn't so easy to find a good
feeling with the bike set-up this way, even after 55 laps. In the afternoon we
switched back to the previous set-up and that definitely improved things. I
managed to improve my lap time on race tyres, and my times were pretty
consistent throughout. At the end of the day I tried two different qualifying
tyres, and again I was able to improve my time from yesterday. I'm happy to
finish fifth fastest today, but I know that I still have a lot of work to do
this season; learning the circuits again on a MotoGP bike, and also learning how
best to manage the race. The whole team have done a great job helping me adapt
to the Ninja ZX-RR during testing, and I'm looking forward to returning to Jerez
for my first MotoGP race, where I hope I can repay all their hard work with a
good result."

Harald Eckl: Team Principal

"What can I say, other than that we are ready to go! Both the team and the
riders are in excellent shape for the start of the 2006 season. We've done our
homework, confirmed everything during a successful winter test schedule, and now
we're ready to start racing. I'm looking forward to travelling back to Jerez for
the first race, and I'm confident that the team will acquit themselves well."