MotoGP pre-race stats and facts from Mugello
• With just 2.021 seconds separating Mika Kallio in 17th place on the grid and Jorge Lorenzo on pole, this is the closest MotoGP grid since the US GP in 2007.
• Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the 6th time in the MotoGP class. On the previous five occasions he has started from pole he has won just once – in Portugal last year.
• Casey Stoner has maintained his record of qualifying on the front row at every race in 2009. Mugello is one of just 5 circuits on the 2009 calendar where he has not had a win.
• Loris Capirossi starts from the front row for the first time since he was 3rd fastest qualifier at Mugello last year. This is the first front row start by a Suzuki rider this year.
• Suzuki have not had a rider finish on the podium at Mugello since Daryl Beattie was 2nd in 1995.
• Valentino Rossi has failed to qualify on the front row at Mugello for the first time since moving up to the premier-class in 2000.
• The last time he was not on the front row at Mugello was in the 250cc race in 1999 when he won the race from 6th on the grid.
• Mugello is one of only two circuits on this year’s calendar where Valentino Rossi has not had a fastest race lap in the MotoGP
class – the other is Laguna Seca.
• Randy de Puniet, who is the top Honda rider in qualifying, has only once finished a race in his three previous MotoGP appearances at Mugello – 13th place in 2006.
• Colin Edwards’ 5th place finish last year is his best result from six previous visits to Mugello.
• Andrea Dovizioso’s 3rd place finish in the 250cc race in 2006 is his only podium at Mugello.
• Yuki Takahashi’s 10th place on the grid is his best qualifying performance so far in the MotoGP class.
• The first four races of the year in the 250cc class have been won by four different riders (Barbera, Bautista, Aoyama and Simoncelli).
• Alvaro Bautista starts from pole for the third time in 2009. On the two previous occasions he has started from pole this year he has not finished on the podium.
• None of the 250cc races this year have been won by the rider starting in pole position.
• Marco Simoncelli scored his first 250cc victory last year at Mugello which was also the first ever 250cc victory for Gilera.
• Hector Barbera’s only podium in the 250cc class at Mugello was 3rd in 2007 when he also set a lap record.
• Hiroshi Aoyama’s best result at Mugello is 7th in 2007 riding a Honda.
• Alex Debon finished 2nd at Mugello last year after qualifying in 7th place on the grid.
• Thomas Luthi’s third place finish at Mugello last year was his first podium since moving up to the 250cc class.
• Bradley Smith starts from pole for the first time since the Chinese Grand Prix last year. He is the first British rider to start a GP from pole at Mugello.
• Bradley Smith’s pole position time is the fastest ever lap of the Mugello circuit by a 125cc machine.
• Scott Redding’s 2nd place on the grid equals his best ever qualifying performance, achieved two weeks ago at Le Mans.
• This is the first time that British riders have taken the top two slots on the grid in any of the solo GP classes since Barry Sheene qualified on pole in the 500cc class at the opening race of 1979 in Venezuela with Suzuki team-mate Tom Herron qualifying second.
• Julian Simon is scheduled to make his 100th Grand Prix start, and following his victory at Le Mans leads the world championship classification for the first time in his career.
• Sergio Gadea, who has finished on the podium at the last two races, is starting from the front row for the first time in 2009.
• Last year’s winner at Mugello, Simone Corsi, will be making his 100th Grand Prix start.
• Eighteen year-old French rider, Johann Zarco, is making only his 5th GP start and has qualified in 7th place on the grid.