Sunday pre-race guide: Donington MotoGP
British Grand Prix – Sunday 26 July
• This is Valentino Rossi’s fourth pole at Donington on a MotoGP machine. His three previous MotoGP poles at Donington have all ended in victory.
• If Valentino Rossi finishes in the top three he will set a new outright record of 160 podium finishes in Grand Prix racing. Giacomo Agostini’s existing record of 159 podium finishes has stood since 1977.
• If Dani Pedrosa finishes ninth or higher he will have scored more points during his Grand Prix career than any other Spanish rider in history.
• Third on the grid, Jorge Lorenzo has maintained his record of qualifying on the front row at every race in 2009.
• Heading the second row of the grid is Casey Stoner, who has won at Donington for the last two years.
• Donington is the only circuit at which Andrea Dovizioso has won in both the 125cc and 250cc classes.
• Colin Edwards has finished in a point scoring position in the last seventeen successive races since he crashed at the German GP last year.
• Marco Melandri has qualified in his highest grid position since joining the Hayate Racing Team at the start of this year.
• Eighth place on the grid is the best qualifying result at Donington for Toni Elias in the five years he has been racing in the MotoGP class.
• James Toseland will be starting from ninth on the grid – the best qualifying result for a British rider in the MotoGP class at Donington since Jeremy McWilliams was seventh fastest qualifier in 2002 riding a Proton KR machine.
• Toseland will be aiming to improve on Neil Hodgson’s 10th place finish on a Ducati in 2004, which is the best result for a British rider at Donington on a four-stroke MotoGP machine.
• Hector Barbera starts from pole for the third time in four races. His 125cc victory at Donington in 2003 was his first win in Grand Prix racing.
• In every race Marco Simoncelli has started this year he has qualified on the front row.
• Hiroshi Aoyama starts from the front row for the seventh time this year.
• Alex Debon’s second place finish one week ago in Germany was his first podium since the Japanese Grand Prix last year.
• Fifth on the grid, Mike di Meglio will be making his 100th Grand Prix start.
• For the first time in 2009, Alvaro Bautista has failed to qualify on the front row of the grid.
• Tenth place qualifier Lukas Pesek is scheduled to become only the second Czech rider to have reached the milestone of 100 Grand Prix starts – the other being Jaroslav Hules.
• Ralf Waldmann is making his first GP start since the Czech GP in 2002. At 43 years old he will be the oldest rider to start a GP since Marcellino Lucchi in the 250cc race at the Malaysian GP in 2004.
• Bradley Smith is the first British rider to qualify on pole at his home GP since Barry Sheene was top qualifier for the 500cc race at Silverstone in 1977. Smith’s only other pole this year was at Mugello when he went on to win the race.
• Marc Marquez scored his first GP podium finish here at Donington last year in only his sixth Grand Prix start.
• Julian Simon starts from the front row for the eighth time in 2009. His win at Donington in 2005 riding a KTM was his only GP victory before the start of this year.
• With his second place finish in Germany, Sergio Gadea became the first rider this year in the 125cc class to have three successive podiums.
• Fifth place on the grid for Joan Olive equals his best qualifying performance of the year. Olive’s third place finish in Germany one week ago was his first podium of 2009.
• Aprilia have won the last ten races in the 125cc class – their longest ever sequence of successive wins.