MotoGP pre-race rider guide Laguna Seca

>> Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the eighth time in the MotoGP class. On the seven previous occasions when he has started from pole in MotoGP he has won just once – in Portugal last year.

>> Jorge Lorenzo is the first Yamaha rider to qualify on pole at the US GP since Wayne Rainey did so back in 1991.

>> Yamaha riders have finished first and second at the last two races in Catalunya and Assen. If this is repeated here at Laguna Seca, it will be the first time ever in the premier-class that Yamaha riders have taken the top two places at three successive Grand Prix races.

>> Second on the grid, Valentino Rossi starts from the front row for the fifth time in 2009. He will be making his 158th successive premier-class GP start without missing a race, equalling the record of Alex Barros.

>> Casey Stoner, in 3rd, has qualified on the front row for the 7th time this year, but has missed out on pole at Laguna Seca for the first time since 2006.

>> Heading up row two, Dani Pedrosa will be aiming to return to the podium for the first time since the French Grand Prix. Pedrosa missed the race itself at Laguna Seca last year as he was still suffering from injuries received in the previous event in Germany.

>> Fifth in qualifying, Andrea Dovizioso raced for the first time at Laguna Seca last year and he was the first Honda rider across the line in 4th place.

>> If Colin Edwards finishes in the top fifteen he will become the 14th rider in the 61-year history of Grand Prix racing to reach the milestone of 100 point scoring finishes in the premier-class.

>> Nicky Hayden will be starting from 8th place on the grid, a great improvement on his previous best qualifying on the Ducati which was 12th at Motegi. This is the best qualifying performance by the second rider in the Ducati factory team since Loris Capirossi was 8th on the grid for the final race of 2007 at Valencia.

>> Chris Vermeulen has qualified 9th, just one place lower than last year when he went on to finish on the podium.

>> With Yuki Takahashi withdrawn from the MotoGP class, this is the first premier-class GP without a Japanese rider on the grid since the final race of 1991 in Malaysia. This represents a run of 271 races.


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