MotoGP: Sunday pre-race guide Sachsenring
• This is Valentino Rossi’s first pole in the MotoGP class at the Sachsenring circuit.
• Valentino Rossi has been on the podium sixteen times in the seventeen races since finishing second in Germany last year. If he finishes in the top three here he will equal Giacomo Agostini’s all-time record of 159 podium finishes in Grand Prix racing.
• Second on the grid, Jorge Lorenzo, has maintained his record of qualifying on the front row at every race in 2009.
• Last year’s winner in Germany, Casey Stoner, has qualified on the front row for the 8th time this year.
• Heading the second row, Nicky Hayden has qualified in his best grid position since he was 3rd fastest qualifier at the final race of last year at Valencia. This is the best qualifying performance by a Ducati rider other than Casey Stoner since the introduction of the 800cc capacity limit at the start of 2007.
• Fifth place in qualifying is Alex de Angelis’ best grid position since he was 5th fastest qualifier at the Czech GP last year.
• Sixth on the grid Randy de Puniet has finished every race so far in 2009 and needs to finish 12th or better to improve on his 61 point-haul from the full season of 18 races in 2008.
• Colin Edwards has scored points in all sixteen races since he crashed out in Germany last year.
• Following his victory at Laguna Seca, if Dani Pedrosa wins the race he will be the first Honda rider to win back-to-back MotoGP victories since Marco Melandri at the final two races of 2005. If he finishes 6th or better he will become just the eighth rider to reach the milestone of 2000 career points in GP racing.
• Twelfth-place qualifier, Chris Vermeulen, finished third in Germany last year after starting from 14th on the grid.
• Marco Simoncelli starts from pole for just the second time this year – his other was in Japan, where he finished 17th after suffering a front tyre puncture.
• Hector Barbera, who finished second in Germany last year, starts on the front row for the sixth time in 2009.
• Third place qualifier, Alvaro Bautista, maintains his record of starting from the front row at every race in 2009.
• If Hiroshi Aoyama wins the race he would be the first Honda rider to take back-to-back 250cc GP wins since Dani Pedrosa in 2005.
• Fifth place on the grid for Karel Abraham is a great improvement on his previous best 250cc qualifying result of 11th, which he has achieved on three occasions.
• Aprilia have not won in the 250cc class at the Sachsenring since Marco Melandri’s victory in 2002.
• Julian Simon starts from pole for the fourth time this year. From his previous three poles in 2009 he has only once gone on to finish on the podium – second place in Qatar.
• This is the 16th time in 2009 that a Spanish rider has started from pole across the three classes; however no Spanish rider has won from pole so far this year.
• Bradley Smith has qualified on the front row for the first time since he was on pole at Mugello, when he went on to win the race.
• Marc Marquez starts from the front row for the third time in his GP career.
• Marcel Schrotter is the first wild-card rider in the 125cc class to start from the front row since Yuzo Fujioka was 4th on the grid at the Japanese GP in 1995. This is also the first front row start by a Honda rider in the 125cc class since Bradley Smith was 4th on the grid at this same circuit two years ago.
• Alexis Masbou’s 6th place on the grid is his best ever qualifying result in what will be his 68th Grand prix start.
• Seventh place on the grid is a great improvement on Takaaki Nakagami’s previous best qualifying result of 14th on the grid at Indianapolis last year.
• Wild-card rider Eeki Kuparinen is a third generation GP rider – son of Esko who raced in the Grand Prix in the 1980’s and Grandson of Hannu who raced in GP’s in the 1960’s and 70’s.
• Aprilia riders have won the last nine 125cc Grand Prix races – the longest ever sequence of successive wins in the 125cc class by Aprilia.