Sunday Guide: Moto GP of Spain
Dani Pedrosa starts from pole for the first time since the Indianapolis Grand Prix last year, which was also the last MotoGP pole for a Honda rider. Pedrosa has won three times from the previous thirteen poles he has had in MotoGP: the last time he won from pole was at the final event of 2007 in Valencia.
• Pedrosa’s fourteen pole positions in the premier-class is one more than achieved by the next best Spanish rider, Sete Gibernau.
• For the first time since 2005, Jorge Lorenzo is starting a GP at Jerez and is not on pole position.
• Casey Stoner’s third place finish here last year was his first podium finish at Jerez in any class of GP racing.
• Valentino Rossi heads the second row of the grid, the same position he started the race last year at Jerez when he went on to win the race; the only race in 2009 that the won after failing to qualify on the front row.
• Fifth on the grid for Nicky Hayden is his highest qualifying result since he was 4th fastest qualifier in Germany last year. Hayden’s single podium finish at Jerez was 3rd in 2006 on his way to taking the MotoGP world title.
• Randy de Puniet’s fourth place here last year is his only top ten finish on a MotoGP machine at Jerez.
• Ben Spies, who has never previously raced at the Jerez circuit, is the best qualifier of the six rookies, in 8th place on the grid.
• Andrea Dovizioso has finished 8th in each of his previous two MotoGP races at Jerez.
• Marco Melandri’s 5th place finish last year at Jerez, riding a Kawasaki, was his best dry weather result of 2009.
• Loris Capirossi, who is making his 21st Grand Prix appearance at the Jerez circuit, finished 5th here in 2008, the best result at this circuit for any rider onboard the Suzuki 4-stroke MotoGP machine.
• Mika Kallio in 17th and last place on the grid has qualified just 1.6 seconds slower than Dani Pedrosa on pole.
• After another close qualifying session in Moto2, the top 20 riders on the grid are covered by less than one second.
• Championship leader, Shoya Tomizawa, starts from pole for the first time in his Grand Prix career, his previous best qualifying result was 9th on the grid three weeks ago in Qatar.
• Julian Simon qualified on pole last year for the 125cc GP at Jerez but crashed on lap six; his only non-scoring race in 2009.
• Third on the grid, Toni Elias will be aiming to join an elite group of riders who have won in four different Grand Prix classes by adding a Moto2 victory to those he has already achieved in 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP categories.
• Yuki Takahashi returns to the front row of the grid for the first time since he was 4th fastest qualifier for the 250cc GP race at Misano in 2008.
• The front two rows of the grid for the Moto2 race consist of eight riders who have all previously won Grand Prix races.
• Kenny Noyes has qualified in 9th place in only his second Grand Prix start. This is the best qualifying result by a rider from the USA in the intermediate class since Kenny Roberts was 7th on the grid at the Catalan GP in 1995.
• Spanish riders fill the top five places on the grid for the first time ever in any class of Grand Prix racing.
• Marc Marquez starts from pole for the fourth time in his GP career. His third place finish at the last race in Qatar is his only podium from his three previous pole position starts. Marquez’s third place finish here last year was his only podium finish of 2009.
• Marquez’s pole position lap is the fastest ever lap of the Jerez circuit by a 125cc machine, breaking the previous record set by Mattia Pasini in 2006.
• Second on the grid is Pol Espargaro, whose best finish at Jerez is 4th in 2007, in what was just his 9th GP start at the age of 15.
• Efren Vazquez is starting from the front row for just the second time in his GP career. His other front row start was from 4th on the grid at the first race of the year in Qatar.
• For the first time ever, Derbi riders have filled the top three places on the grid for a 125cc Grand Prix race.
• Finishing off the front row is Esteve Rabat; this is his best qualifying result since he was 4th on the grid at the Japanese Grand Prix last year.
• Nico Terol scored his first podium in Grand Prix racing at Jerez two years ago, when he finished second in the 125cc race.
• Seventh on the grid is Bradley Smith, who took his maiden GP victory last year at Jerez.