After a three-week break, the 2011 MotoGP Championship convenes this weekend at Brno for the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Leading the series after 10 of 18 MotoGP races is Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner; the Australian has a 20-point lead over the reining Champion, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo.
In third, 30 points behind Lorenzo, is the Italian Andrea Dovizoso on the second Repsol Honda RC212V. In fourth is the third Repsol Honda rider, Dani Pedrosa, with Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi in fifth.
Following are some stats and facts heading into Brno MotoGP:
- 100 – At the Czech Grand Prix, Yuki Takahashi will be making his 100th GP start. Takahashi made his GP debut at the age of seventeen as a wild-card rider in the 125cc class at Motegi in 2001. After several more wild-card appearances he became a full-time GP rider in the 250cc class in 2005. All his subsequent GP career has been spent in the intermediate- class with the exception of 2009 when he competed for a half a season in the MotoGP class.
- 66 – Casey Stoner’s victory at Laguna Seca was the 66th win for Honda since the introduction of the four-stroke Moto- GP formula at the start of 2002. This is just one more win in MotoGP than great rivals Yamaha have taken over the same period.
- 42 – This will be the 42nd occasion that a Grand Prix event will have been staged at Brno. The first Grand Prix to be held at Brno was back in 1965 on the old road circuit which measured 13.94 km. The circuit remained essentially the same until 1975, when it was shortened to the 10.92 km circuit that was used up until 1982, at which time it was deemed no longer up to the safety standards required for Grand Prix racing. The current circuit was first used for a Grand Prix in 1987 and has been visited every year since with the exception of 1992. Originally, the event held at Brno was the Grand Prix of Czechoslovakia, until 1991 when the country was divided and the Czech Republic was formed.
- 37 – The three Spanish riders Jorge Martinez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa have all stood on the top step of the podium in Grand Prix racing on 37 occasions. The only Spanish rider with more GP wins than these three is Angel Nieto with 90 GP victories to his name.
- 32 – On the first day of practice at the Czech Grand Prix it will be exactly 32 years ago to the day that Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene had a great battle at the 1979 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Just 0.03 seconds covered the two riders at the end of the race – one of the closest finishes of all time in the premier-class.
- 26 – Mattia Pasini will celebrate his 26th birthday on the day of qualifying at the Czech Grand Prix.
- 24 – This will be the 24th time that the current circuit has hosted a Grand Prix event.
- 18 – Jonas Folger will celebrate his 18th birthday on the day of qualifying at the Czech Grand Prix.
- 8 years – Lucio Cecchinello’s 125cc lap record that he set in 2003 at Brno still stands. This is the longest standing lap record across all three classes on the current Grand Prix calendar.
- 5 – Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP class in 2002, Yamaha have been the most successful manufactu- rer at the Brno circuit with five wins, followed by Honda and Ducati each with two victories.
- 5 – Casey Stoner’s win at Laguna Seca was his 5th win of this year. This is the greatest number of MotoGP victories in a single season by a Honda rider since Valentino Rossi won nine MotoGP races in 2003 when riding for Honda.
- 5 – Czech rider Jakub Kornfeil finished fifth last year at his home Grand Prix – his best ever result in Grand Prix racing and the best result by a Czech rider at Brno in any class since 2007.
- 1 – There has only been one podium finish by a Czech rider on the current Brno circuit layout – Lukas Pesek’s third place in the 125cc race in 2007 riding a Derbi.
- 1 – Of the current circuits, the only one that has hosted more Grand Prix events than Brno is Assen, which has been on the Grand Prix calendar every year since 1949.
- 0 – The number of victories for Honda at Brno during the 800cc era of MotoGP. Sete Gibernau’s victory in 2004 was the last time that a Honda rider won the MotoGP race at Brno.