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Alex Barros to make 200th Grand Prix start in Catalunya

Alex Barros to make 200th Grand Prix start in Catalunya

Alex Barros to make 200th Grand Prix start in Catalunya

West Honda Pons rider, Alex Barros, who made his Grand Prix debut more than 16 years ago, is scheduled to make his 200th Grand Prix start this weekend at the Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya.

The Brazilian made his GP debut in the 80cc class at the Spanish GP at Jarama way back in 1986 aged just 15 years old. After spending two seasons competing in the 80cc class at Grand Prix level, he returned to the World Championship scene full-time in 1989, riding a Yamaha in the 250cc class. One year later, in 1990, still aged just 18, he moved into the elite category by signing for the factory Cagiva Team, during his three year spell on the Cagiva 500cc his best result was a third place finish at the Dutch TT in 1992.

During the ´93 and ´94 seasons, he was Kevin Schwantz's team mate in the Lucky Strike Suzuki Team, and his first Grand Prix victory came in the last race of 1993, back at Jarama. In 1995 Barros moved on to set up his own team together with Erv Kanemoto, running a leased factory Honda. That experiment only lasted a year, and the following term he rode a Honda for Team Pileri, finishing 4th in the final Championship standings. 1997 brought another change of scenery as he joined Team Gresini, still racing Honda machinery but this time the new V-twin customer bike, he finished in third place at the British GP at Donington; the only time a privateer V-twin Honda has finished on the podium. Barros remained with the Gresini set-up for the 1998 campaign, this time riding the four-cylinder Honda, a machine he has remained faithful to up to the present day.

Since 1999 Barros has ridden for the Honda Pons Team, finally getting his second Grand Prix win at the Dutch TT in 2000 and his first pole position at the Italian GP in Mugello. He has since gone on to claim 2 further triumphs, at the Sachsenring again in 2000, and at Mugello last year. This weekend´s Grand Prix in Barcelona will be the 630th Grand Prix event that has been staged in the 53-year history of World Championship racing, therefore remarkably, Barros has appeared in 31.7% of all GP meetings. In comparison to other current-day riders, only team-mate Capirossi (175) can get near Barros´ appearance record, with Max Biaggi back in third on 154.

MotoGP, 2002, Gran Premi Marlboro de Catalunya, Alex Barros

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