The Czech Republic at Brno, Round 10 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship, kicks off the second half of the 18-race season today.The Spaniard on the pole, Dani Pedrosa, will look to close the 72-point lead that Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo holds on him.Starting second is the American Ben Spies, which is the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider’s first time starting from the front row.Although Lorenzo crashed at the end of qualifying, the Spaniard still landed the last spot on the front row.And the biggest news besides the actual race is the announcement of plans for nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who’s expected to announce what team he will be competing on next year. The Italian qualified fifth for Sunday’s race, just behind Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner.Here are some Pre-Race Stats on Brno:
- Dani Pedrosa starts from pole for the third time in 2010. The last time Pedrosa was on pole was at Mugello – a race he went on to win. This is Pedrosa’s first pole position at the Brno circuit during his GP career.
- In second place on the grid is Ben Spies, who will be starting from the front row for the first time since moving to MotoGP. Spies is the first MotoGP rookie to qualify on the front row since Jorge Lorenzo and James Toseland in 2008.
- After a run of five successive pole positions, Jorge Lorenzo is the third fastest qualifier, which maintains his record of qualifying on the front row at every MotoGP race this year. If Lorenzo finishes either first or second he will become only the third rider ever to finish in the top two at the opening ten races of the year in the premier-class.
- If any of the Spanish riders win the MotoGP race at Brno it will be the 50th victory in the premier-class for Spain.
- Casey Stoner has failed to qualify on the front row for the first time since the British GP at Silverstone. Stoner is aiming to take his first victory since Malaysia last year when he also started from 4th place on the grid.
- Fifth on the grid is Valentino Rossi who has only twice failed to finish on the podium at Brno in the MotoGP class; three years ago when he was seventh and in 2002 when he suffered rear tyre failure.
- Taking the final slot on the second row is Andrea Dovizioso, who will be aiming to get back on the podium for the first time since he finished second at Silverstone.
- Seventh on the grid is the best qualifying result for Colin Edwards since he was fifth on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix.
- Brno is one of just three current circuits that he has raced previously where Hector Barbera has not had a podium finish during his Grand Prix career.
- Loris Capirossi’s third place finish at Brno two years ago was the last time that he finished on the podium.
- Returning to racing after his accident at the German GP, Randy de Puniet will be starting from 11th place on the grid, and the fastest of the four non-factory Honda riders.
- Shoya Tomizawa starts from pole for the second time in his GP career. His other pole position was at the Spanish GP in Jerez.
- Second on the grid, Andrea Iannone, finished third last year in the 125cc GP race at Brno.
- Championship leader Toni Elias has qualified on the front row for the sixth time in 2010. His third place finish in the MotoGP race last year at Brno was his only podium of 2009.
- Roberto Rolfo has qualified on the front row for a Grand Prix race for the first time since he was third on the grid for the 250cc race at the Sachsenring in 2004.
- Sixth on the grid is the best qualifying result so far in 2010 for Dominique Aegerter.
- Scott Redding has qualified in 10th place on the grid – his best qualifying performance since moving up to the Moto2 class.
- Spanish riders have won the last eighteen 125cc GP races. The last non-Spanish winner in the 125cc class was Andrea Iannone at the Catalan Grand Prix last year.
- Derbi riders have won the last seven races in the 125cc class – the longest ever sequence of successive Grand Prix wins for Derbi.
- Bradley Smith starts from pole for the first time since the Misano race last year. He is the first British rider to qualify on pole at Brno in any solo class since Ian McConnachie was fastest qualifier for the 80cc GP race back in 1987. Smith will be aiming to be the first British rider to win a solo GP race at Brno since John Newbold won the 500cc race on the old road circuit in 1976.
- Second on the grid is Nico Terol, who won at Brno last year – his first dry weather Grand Prix victory.
- Pol Espargaro has qualified in third place on the grid to maintain his record of qualifying on the front row at every race in 2010.
- Following four successive pole positions, Marc Marquez has qualified on the final slot on the front row for the Czech GP. If Marquez wins the race he will be the first rider to win six successive 125cc GP races since Valentino Rossi in 1997.
- Lucio Cecchinello still holds the 125cc lap record at Brno, set in 2003. This is the longest standing lap record across all three classes on the current Grand Prix calendar.