MotoGP Race Guide Phillip Island
• Casey Stoner, who has won for the last two years at Phillip Island, has qualified on pole for the first time since the opening race of the year in Qatar. Stoner also celebrated his 24th birthday this weekend.
• Valentino Rossi starts from the front row for the tenth successive race. Rossi has finished on the podium from all nine starts he has had at Phillip Island in the premier-class, including five victories.
• Third on the grid is Dani Pedrosa, who will be aiming to finish on the podium for the first time at Phillip Island in the MotoGP class.
• Jorge Lorenzo has failed to qualify on the front row of the grid for the first time this year. Since moving to the MotoGP class Lorenzo has only once finished on the podium after not qualifying on the front row – second place at Le Mans last year from fifth on the grid.
• Colin Edwards starts from fifth place on the grid for the fifth successive race.
• Sixth on the grid, Alex de Angelis has failed to finish the last two races after scoring points at all the first twelve races of the year.
• Nicky Hayden set a new lap record on his way to finishing third at Phillip Island last year riding a Honda.
• Ninth on the grid is Mika Kallio – his best qualifying result so far in his debut season in the MotoGP class.
• Andrea Dovizioso starts from tenth on the grid – his worst qualifying result since the German GP.
• Toni Elias’ 9th place finishes in 2005 and 2006 are his best results from four starts on a MotoGP machine in Australia.
• A victory for any of the Yamaha riders would be the eleventh win of 2009 for Yamaha, which would equal their most successful year ever in the premier-class.
• On pole is Raffaele de Rosa, who has qualified on the front row for the first time since moving up to the 250cc class for 2009.
• Marco Simoncelli missed the opening race of the year in Qatar, but has since started on the front row at every race. If he wins the race it will be his sixth victory of the year to equal the number of wins he had last year on his way to taking the world title.
• Third place on the grid is championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama, who is starting from the front row for the eighth successive race.
• Aoyama would clinch the world title if he wins the race and Alvaro Bautista finishes no higher than 15th and Marco Simoncelli finishes no higher than 14th and Hector Barbera does not finish second.
• This is the first time that Honda have had two riders qualify on the front row for a 250cc GP since the Japanese Grand Prix in 2007.
• In fourth place on the grid is Alex Debón – his first front row start since the Czech Grand Prix.
• Heading up the second row is Héctor Barberá, who will be aiming to finish on the podium for the first time at Phillip Island.
• Second in the championship Álvaro Bautista, is starting from 10th on the grid which is his worst qualifying result of the year.
• If any of the Italian riders should win the race it will be the 200th victory for Italy in the 250cc class.
• Pol Espargaró starts from pole for the first time this year. He has shown great form over the last three races, having won the race in Indianapolis, was knocked off at the final corner in Misano when leading and then won again in Portugal.
• From the previous seven poles by Spanish riders in the 125cc class this year, only Simón in Germany has gone on to win the race.
• Second on the grid equals the best qualifying result of the year for Nico Terol which he achieved at Brno – a race that he went on to win.
• Julian Simón starts from the front row for the tenth successive race. Simón would definitely win the title by finishing on the podium and in front of Bradley Smith, irrespective of the results of other riders. (There are other permutations if he finishes off the podium.)
• Finishing off the front row is Simone Corsi – his first front row start of 2009.
• Heading up the second row is Bradley Smith, who has finished on the podium at the last three races – the first British rider to take three successive podium finishes in any of the solo classes since Barry Sheene in 1982. Smith has not scored a point in his three previous visits to Phillip Island.
• Starting in sixteenth place on the grid is Sergio Gadea, who is making his 100th Grand Prix start, all of which have been in the 125cc class.