• Casey Stoner, who has won for the last two years at Phillip Island, has qualified on pole for the first time since the opening race of the year in Qatar. Stoner also celebrated his 24th birthday this weekend.
• Valentino Rossi starts from the front row for the tenth successive race. Rossi has finished on the podium from all nine starts he has had at Phillip Island in the premier-class, including five victories.
100 – At the Australian GP Sergio Gadea will be making his 100th Grand Prix start, all of which have been in the 125cc class.
50 – Hiroshi Aoyama will clinch the 250cc world title if he scores fifty points in the three remaining races of the year, irrespective of the results of other riders.
25 – Julian Simon needs to score just 25 points from the remaining three races of the year to cinch the 125cc world title even if closest challenger Bradley Smith wins all three races.
• Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the first time since Laguna Seca. This is Lorenzo’s ninth pole since moving up to the MotoGP class, however the only time he has won from pole was at Estoril last year.
• This is the eleventh pole of the year for Yamaha, which is their greatest ever number of premier-class pole positions in a single season.
• If any of the Yamaha riders finish on the podium then Yamaha will take the MotoGP Constructors title irrespective of other results.
The first of a concluding quartet of rounds in the 2009 FIM MotoGP World Championship season takes place this coming weekend at Estoril.
As Valentino Rossi prepares to make his 100th appearance on a Yamaha factory machine, in the bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal, at a venue where he has taken victory on five occasions in the premier class, the Italian rider is aware that another Portuguese win will edge him closer to retaining the MotoGP title.
Valentino Rossi added a third pole position to an enviable haul from 2009 at Sachsenring on Saturday, coming out on top in a drenched qualifying session at the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
Rossi’s last gasp 1’32.520 lap was not only enough to head the timesheet by over six-tenths of a second, but it was also sufficient to give him a first ever MotoGP pole at the German track.
MotoGP Race Report: Assen
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Alice TT Assen – Thursday 25 June – Report Day 1
LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet sprang a surprise in the first MotoGP practice outing for the Alice TT Assen, occupying the top spot on the timesheet with a 1’37.842 lap that came from out of nowhere late in the session.
Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso was the fastest MotoGP rider on Friday at the Grand Prix de France as the rain returned at Le Mans and cut short the work that the teams could undertake on the first day.
The first run since the reversion to 60-minute practice sessions, the afternoon action was cut short when rain fell midway through the session, at which point Dovizioso had set the fastest lap with a best effort of 1’36.136.