Round 13 of the MotoGP Championship begins Friday at Motorland Aragon, the third of four Spanish rounds on the 2010 schedule, including Catalunya and Jerez, both won by Jorge Lorenzo, and the concluding round at Valencia.
The Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo currently leads the championship by 63 points over Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedorsa; both riders will be contesting on their home soil this weekend.
Pedrosa’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, sits in third with 139 points, but his position is being challenged from the fourth- and fifth-place riders with equal points at 130, Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner and Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi.
This weekend starts the first of six remaining races on the 2010 MotoGP schedule, and the usual 17-rider field will be lacking Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi, who continues to heal from a hand injury sustained in an accident at Misano.
Following are some statistics and facts as riders head into the inaugural Aragon Grand Prix.
- Following wins already this season at Jerez and Catalunya, Jorge Lorenzo could become the first rider to win three MotoGP races in the same country in one season, by winning at Aragon.
- If Jorge Lorenzo finishes either first or second at the Aragon Grand Prix, it will ensure that a Spanish rider will win the premier-class title, as Dani Pedrosa would be the only rider that could then amass more points than Lorenzo by the end of the season. Alex Criville in 1999 is the only Spanish rider to have previously won the premier-class world championship.
- Dani Pedrosa’s victory at Misano was his fourth win of the year – which is twice as many MotoGP wins as he has achieved in any other season. This win at Misano was also the first time that Pedrosa has taken back-to-back Grand Prix wins in the MotoGP class. This was also the first back-to-back MotoGP victories for a Honda rider since Marco Melandri won in Turkey and Valencia in 2005. If Pedrosa wins at the Aragon GP he will become the first Honda rider since Valentino Rossi is 2003 to win three successive MotoGP races.
- Andrea Dovizioso, who finished on the podium four times in the opening five rac- es of the year, has now gone seven races without a top-three finish.
- Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider at GP events held in Spain with a total of 19 Grand Prix victories across all three classes on Spanish soil. Rossi has now made seven MotoGP starts with- out taking a win, which equals his long- est barren run since winning for the first time in the premier-class at Donington in 2000. Rossi has not had a front row start since returning to racing after his crash at Mugello.
- Ben Spies has been both the top Rookie and best non-factory rider at the last four MotoGP races.
- Colin Edwards will be making his 100th MotoGP start riding Yamaha machinery. Only three other riders in the 62-year history of Grand Prix racing have passed the milestone of 100 premier- class starts riding Yamaha bikes: Norick Abe, Carlos Checa and Valentino Rossi.
- If Loris Capirossi recovers from the in- juries sustained at Misano in time to start at the Aragon Grand Prix, it will be the 43rd circuit at which he has competed during his Grand Prix career.
- Toni Elias’ victory at Misano was his fourth successive Moto2 win. This is the longest sequence of successive victories in the intermediate-class since Marco Melandri won six successive races in 2002, on his way to taking the 250cc world title.
- Julian Simon has finished second at the last two races – the first time he has taken back-to-back podium finishes since moving up to the Moto2 class.
- Stefan Bradl’s fifth place finish at Misano is his best GP result since he was fourth in the the second 125cc GP of 2009 at Motegi.
- Claudio Corti finished ninth at Misano – his best result so far in his debut sea- son in Grand Prix racing.
- At the San Marino Grand Prix, Marc Marquez took his sixth victory of the year. One more win for Marquez during 2010 and he will equal the number of victories by Julian Simon last year on his way to taking the world title.
- Nico Terol’s fourth place finish at Silverstone is the only time this year that he has finished a race and not been on the podium. At the Aragon Grand Prix, Terol will be aiming for his first GP win on home soil.
- Pol Espargaro’s sixth place at Misano is his lowest race finish since he was ninth at the Dutch TT last year.
- Efren Vazquez’s third place finish at Misano was his first podium since the opening race of the year at Qatar where he was second.
- Bradley Smith has finished on the podium in Grand Prix racing on sixteen occasions. Only four British riders have had more 125cc podium finishes than Smith; Bill Ivy, Phil Read, Chas Mortimer and Dave Simmonds.