Press Release
(2006 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Yamaha Factory Racing Press Release
Pre-season testing draws to a close in Jerez

Jerez, Spain

Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards completed their final pre-season test in Jerez
today in front of hordes of Spanish fans, after riding thousands of kilometres
during a total of fifteen days' testing since January. Following a strong
showing at the Barcelona Test last week, the Camel Yamaha Team's preparations
have suffered something of a set back here and both riders have been hampered by
vibration problems throughout the three days of this test.

Despite not making as many improvements as they had hoped today, important
information has been gathered over the three days which will hopefully enable
the Yamaha engineers and Michelin to come up with a solution for the impending

The time-sheets were topped today by Ducati duo Loris Capirossi and Sete
Gibernau, with Capirossi lapping under Rossi's pole-time from 2005 with a lap of
1'39.411. Rossi, Edwards and the Camel Yamaha Team now have the chance to relax
at home for ten days before they return to this circuit for the season-opening
Spanish Grand Prix on 26th March.

COLIN EDWARDS (7th, 1'40.721, 82 laps)

"It would be nice if I could say that we've solved all our problems today, but
sadly it's just not the case and we're still struggling a bit. I think we've
really gone in circles a bit here. We've changed a lot of things and we haven't
really concentrated on a race simulation or the endurance of the tyre, we've
just been trying to find ways to dial out the problems we have. To be honest our
pace isn't bad but it's certainly not a winning pace, which is frustrating when
we saw in Barcelona last weekend how great our package is when it's all working!
Yamaha and Michelin have more than enough information after three days and I am
confident that they will come back with something to solve our problems. Anyway,
that's it for testing! I'm heading home for ten days to chill out a little bit
and let's hope that the new stuff we have when we come back for the race will
help us out so we can challenge for a win."

VALENTINO ROSSI (10th, 1'40.907, 83 laps)

"There were so many people here today, it was like a race! Of course it's really
nice to have so many spanish fans, but today it's been quite difficult for me
even to go from the hospitality to the team truck! Yesterday I was confident
that we could find some big improvements today but honestly that hasn't happened
and now I am quite worried. The vibration has remained and at the moment we
don't know how to solve it. Yamaha and Michelin have done a lot of good work
today and we've tried many different tyres and settings, but we are still slow.
This is the last test and throughout the whole pre-season period we've always
been fast and the bike has felt good, but this test has been completely
different. At the moment I am not sure what will happen in the race, we'll have
to wait and see. I hope that Jeremy, together with the Japanese engineers and
the Michelin technicians, can use all the data they have now to understand the
problem and see how to solve it."


"After this test we don't know how the race will go, but it's been very
important to have this chance to test before it. As the riders say, we've tried
many different things and collected a lot of information. Now our engineers will
have ten days to work on this and come up with some new ideas and solutions.
This is the end of winter testing and we've seen that our bike can work very
well at different tracks. We need to understand why this hasn't been the case
here, but we're convinced we can find a way forward and we know that we still
have a very good package."

Like the factory team the Yamaha Tech 3 squad also had tough times in Jerez
compared to the previous tests in Barcelona and Qatar. When Checa looked to
challenge the top five times he crashed on a hot lap. He was taken to hospital
for x-rays just to confirm he did not suffer any serious injuries. Team mate
Ellison experimented with his riding style and tyres. Although he managed to
eliminate chatter problems, he still needs to find a way to use his qualifying
tyres come the race in less then two weeks time.

CARLOS CHECA (11th - 1'41.134)

"We're still improving a lot but we have a long way to go with the endurance of
the tyre. It's hard to know at the moment what will happen over race distance.
We've had a lot more problems here than in Qatar or Barcelona and of course this
is disappointing, but we need to stay calm about this and remember that it's
very early days. The bike is working well but there is a lot of work to do on
the package. For now we can all relax for a short while and then finally start

JAMES ELLISON (18th - 1'42.686)

"It's been slow, steady progress. Every time I get to a new circuit it's taking
me longer than everyone else to get comfortable on the bike and so I'm not
making progress as quickly as I should, but I am getting there. The first couple
of days I tried to follow Carlos and see how and learn something from him. I've
been trying to copy his riding style but to be honest it wasn't really working
for me. This morning I went back to riding how I've always ridden and I went
second quicker straight away. Now the bike isn't moving around so much and I'm
feeling more comfortable.

On race tyres my pace isn't so bad, I'm feeling okay. On the qualifiers I'm
three seconds down, and they're not really making much difference to my times. I
don't have much experience with them and so it's taking me time to learn. I'm
not that worried. It seems that I got rid of the chatter today, going back to my
old riding style, so it's just the durability of the tyres that we have to worry
about now.

I'm looking forward to the race, I love the track, although it's been difficult
to get used to with this bike because everything happens faster! It's my first
race with the Yamaha and I've got to take things slowly, but I would like top
ten or at least top 15. I know I am nowhere near the peak of my capabilities yet
and I know I can keep improving as the season goes on.


"Unfortunately Carlos had a crash when he went out at the end of the day on a
qualifying tyre. He was very fast and it was looking like a top five lap, but
then he fell. The most important thing is that he's been checked out by the
doctors and he's okay.

We've been to four different tracks and for sure here we've had the most
problems. However we're still not too unhappy because we've done a lot of laps
and the pace hasn't been so bad. James has improved every day - from .44 to .42s
consistently, and he's more comfortable and confident. He needs more miles
before he can really start to push.

I want to thank everyone for their hard work over the winter and Carlos
especially for everything he's brought to the team. He's done a great job and
he's pushing every step of the way. He's a huge help to the Yamaha/Dunlop

Lap Times:

 1. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team,   1'39.411
 2. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team,     1'39.663
 3. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team,     1'39.776
 4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team,         1'40.416
 5. Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki Racing Team,   1'40.468
 6. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team,         1'40.570
 7. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Camel Yamaha Team,        1'40.721
 8. Toni Elias (SPA) Fortuna Honda,               1'40.732
 9. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP,    1'40.750
10. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Camel Yamaha Team,      1'40.907
11. Carlos Checa (SPA) Tech 3 Yamaha,             1'41.134
12. Marco Melandri (ITA) Fortuna Honda,           1'41.208
13. John Hopkins (USA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP,       1'41.208
14. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda,     1'41.380
15. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team Roberts,             1'41.673
16. Jose Luis Cardoso (SPA) D'Antin Pramac,       1'41.761
17. Alex Hofmann (GER) D'Antin Pramac,            1'42.034
18. James Ellison (GBR) Tech 3 Yamaha,            1'42.686
19. Vittoriano Guareschi (ITA) Ducati,            1'42.759
20. Tadayuki Okada (JPN) HRC,                     1'43.513

Jerez Lap Record: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2005 - 1'40.596
Jerez Best Lap: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2005 -   1'39.419