The 18th and final round of the 2012 MotoGP Championship gets underway this weekend at Valencia, the fourth round on Spanish soil.
Leading the pack in the premier class is Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, who clinched the title two weeks ago at Phillip Island. But though the title is decided, Lorenzo will once again get pressure from his main rivals all season – Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, both Repsol Honda riders.
Following are some interesting statistical numbers for all classes ahead of Valencia MotoGP.
299 – Marc Márquez has already attained a total of 299 points in the Moto2 class this year and a victory in Valencia will give him a record highest points’ total in the intermediate-class of Grand Prix racing, a record that is currently held by Daijiro Kato who scored 322 points in winning the 250cc world title in 2001.
98 – Jorge Lorenzo’s second place finish in Australia was the 98th time he had stood on the podium in Grand Prix racing, the same number of podium finishes six-times world champion Jim Redman had during his GP career. One more podium finish for Lorenzo will take him equal with Loris Capirossi in the all-time list of GP podium finishers.
38 – Casey Stoner’s win at the Australian Grand Prix was his 38th win in the premier-class, which is one more victory than Mike Hailwood achieved. Only three riders have more premier-class GP wins than Stoner; Valentino Rossi with 79, Giacomo Agostini (68) and Mick Doohan (54).
33 years – At the Australian Grand Prix there was home representation in each of the three classes podiums, with Casey Stoner winning the MotoGP race, Anthony West finishing second in the Moto2 race and Arthur Sissis coming third in the Moto3 race. The last time that there was Australian representation in the three classes was 33 years ago at the Belgium Grand Prix in 1979 when Barry Smith won the 125cc race, Murray Sayle was third in the 250cc class and Kenny Blake was second in the 500cc class.
16.811 seconds – Pol Espargaró took the lead of the Moto2 race in Australia on the third lap and then extended his lead on every lap throughout the race to win by 16.811 seconds. This is the largest margin of victory in the Moto2 class since it was introduced to the world championship series at the start of 2010.
14 – Sandro Cortese’s victory at the Australian Grand Prix was his 14th podium finish in 2012. This equals the record for most podiums in a single season in the lightweight class of Grand Prix racing, set by Álvaro Bautista in 2006 and equalled by Nico Terol in 2010 when he finished second in the world championship.
11 – This will be the eleventh successive year that Valencia has hosted the final race of the season – no other circuit has hosted the final event of the Grand Prix season on more occasions. The Valencia circuit is named after Spanish Grand Prix racer Ricardo Tormo who won the 50cc world title riding for Bultaco in 1978 and 1981. In addition to his 15 Grand Prix victories in the 50cc class he also had 4 wins in the 125cc class. His career ended in 1984 due to leg injuries suffered in a crash whilst test riding. Tormo died from Leukaemia in 1998.
6 – Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP formula in 2002, Honda has been the most successful manufacturer with six victories at the Valencia circuit, both Ducati and Yamaha have had two wins.
5 – At the Australian GP Casey Stoner became the first rider in the MotoGP era to qualify on pole at a Grand Prix for five successive seasons at the same circuit. He could equal this record in Valencia, where he has had pole for the last four years.
5 – Dani Pedrosa is the most successful rider at the Valencia circuit with five wins; twice in the MotoGP and 250cc classes, and once in the 125cc class. No other rider has had more than three GP wins at the Valencia circuit.
4 – The premier-class race at Valencia has been won four times by Spanish riders; Sete Gibernau won the 500cc race on a Suzuki in 2001, Dani Pedrosa won the MotoGP race in both 2007 & 2009, and Jorge Lorenzo won in 2010.