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Interesting facts and statistics ahead of the SKYY Vodka Grand Prix of Japan

Interesting facts and statistics ahead of the SKYY Vodka Grand Prix of Japan

Interesting facts and statistics ahead of the SKYY Vodka Grand Prix of Japan

· The MotoGP starting grid contains 9 riders who have won motorcycle racing World Titles and 19 riders who have won World Championship races.

· The three Japanese manufacturers Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha have all taken five wins each in the premier-class at the Suzuka circuit.

· Valentino Rossi, who starts from pole for the 12th time in the premier-class, has won at Suzuka for the past two years after never finishing higher than 11th place in his four previous Grand Prix starts at the circuit in the various classes.

· Max Biaggi won the 1998 race at Suzuka on his debut ride in the 500cc class riding a Honda. If Biaggi takes the victory he will become the top all-time point scorer in Grand Prix racing with a single point more than the current record holder Mick Doohan.

· Max Biaggi or Alex Barros have the chance to become the first rider to win in MotoGP on two different makes of machine, having both changed factories since last year. $$$ · Tohru Ukawa, who has crashed in the latter stages of the race at Suzuka for the past two years, starts from the front row for the first time since the Catalan GP last year.

· Carlos Checa's third place finish last year was his first podium at Suzuka from his six starts at the circuit in the premier-class.

· Sete Gibernau starts from his best grid position since he qualified third for the Catalan GP in 2002. Gibernau, who has crashed out at Suzuka for the last three years, has not had a podium finish since taking victory in Valencia in 2001.

· Alex Barros' best result at Suzuka, from twelve starts in the premier-class, was a 5th place finish in 1994 riding a Suzuki.

· Colin Edwards' ninth place on the grid is the best qualifying result in the premier-class for Aprilia since Laconi qualified in 5th place at Mugello last year.

· Daijiro Kato, has had four victories in the 250cc class at Suzuka and three pole positions.

· Norick Abe has twice won at Suzuka, in 1996 and 2000, but has never qualified higher than 6th place on the grid in Japan. Abe was the first two-stroke rider home last year at Suzuka, finishing in 5th place.

· Loris Capirossi has made five starts at Suzuka in the premier-class and scored his best result in 2001, finishing in eighth place after qualifying on pole.

· If Loris Capirossi or his team-mate Troy Bayliss should finish in the top 15 they will become the first Ducati rider to score points in Grand Prix racing since Sergio Baroncini finished in 8th place in the 500cc race at the Yugoslavian GP in 1972.

· Nobuatsu Aoki has finished in the top eight in each of the ten Grand Prix he has competed at Suzuka in the 250cc and MotoGP classes.

MotoGP, 2003, SKYY VODKA Grand Prix of Japan

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