Sunday Guide - Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar2010-04-11 07:21
• If Casey Stoner wins the race he will become only the fourth rider ever to win the opening premier-class race of the year in four or more successive years; the other riders to have done this are Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene and Valentino Rossi.
• Ducati are aiming to become only the second manufacturer to win the opening premier-class race of the year in five or more successive seasons. The only other manufacturer to have achieved this is MV Agusta.
• Valentino Rossi is looking to win the opening race of the year for the first time since 2005 at Jerez.
• Jorge Lorenzo, who has won in Qatar in the 125cc class and twice in the 250cc class, has finished on the podium in both his two starts in the MotoGP class at the Losail circuit.
• Randy de Puniet is the top Honda rider on the grid in 4th place, which is his best qualifying result since the Australian Grand Prix in 2008.
• Loris Capirossi, who is starting his 21st season of Grand Prix racing, is scheduled to become the first rider ever to make 300 Grand Prix starts.
• Andrea Dovizioso was 4th at Qatar on his debut in the MotoGP class in 2008 and last year he was the first Honda rider across the line in 5th.
• Dani Pedrosa will be starting from his lowest grid position since he was 8th on the grid in Germany last year. Losail is one of only four current circuits (that have been used previously) where Pedrosa has not had a victory in any class of GP racing.
• Hiroshi Aoyama, in tenth place on the grid, is the best qualifier of the rookies in the MotoGP class in 2010.
• The combined total of Grand Prix victories for the riders scheduled to start the MotoGP race is 317, which is greater than the current record for the combined number of Grand Prix wins for all riders starting a GP which stands at 289, at the Dutch TT last year.
• In the first ever Moto2 qualifying session the top 30 riders on the grid have qualified within two seconds of pole position.
• Toni Elias, who takes the first ever pole in the Moto2 class, is the first winner of a premier-class Grand Prix to appear in one of the smaller classes since Loris Capirossi moved down to compete in the 250cc class in 1997 after winning the final 500cc race of 1996 at Phillip Island.
• Second on the grid, Julian Simon will be aiming to maintain his winning streak, having won the last three 125cc GP races of 2009.
• In third place on the grid is Stefan Bradl, at the circuit where he finished third in the 125cc race in 2008 - his first podium in Grand Prix racing.
• Completing the front row is Alex de Angelis, who finished second in the 250cc race in Qatar in 2007.
• If all 41 qualifiers line up for the race on Sunday it will be the largest grid for an intermediate class Grand Prix since the 250cc West German GP in 1988 at the Nurburgring circuit when 48 riders lined up on the grid.
• Marc Marquez has qualified on pole for the third time in his GP career. On the previous two occasions he has started from pole, both of which were last year, he has failed to finish; in France he crashed and in the Malaysian race he retired with mechanical problems. Marquez crashed out in Qatar last year while battling for a podium position on the last lap of the shortened four lap race.
• Second on the grid, Pol Espargaro will be aiming to continue his great form from the end of 2009, when he finished on the podium four times in the last six races, including two victories.
• This is the first time that Derbi have taken the top two places on the grid since the Indianapolis GP in 2008 when Pol Espargaro was on pole and Mike di Meglio in second place on the grid.
• With Nico Terol and Efren Vazquez qualifying 3rd and 4th, this is the first all Spanish front row in the history of the 125cc class.
• Efren Vazquez has qualified on the front row for the first time in his Grand Prix career, having never previously been higher than 8th on the grid.
• Heading up the second row of the grid is Randy Krummenacher, who will be aiming to the return to the podium for the first time since the Catalan GP in 2007 when he scored his only podium finish in Grand Prix racing.
• If any of the Aprilia riders win the race it will be the 275th win for the Italian manufacturer, equalling the number of wins by another great Italian motorcycle company, MV Agusta.
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