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Jerez omen for title hopefuls

Jerez omen for title hopefuls

Jerez omen for title hopefuls

If overturning the early season form of World Champion Valentino Rossi wasn't enough of an incentive for his MotoGP title suitors at Jerez this weekend, a brief glance through the history books suggests an extra motivation for them to hit form at the Spanish circuit. A Grand Prix has been held here every season since 1987, during which time several trends have emerged.

On eleven occasions the rider who has won at Jerez has taken the title in the same year, whilst for the last five years the rider who has won at Jerez has left Spain leading the point standings and lifted the World Championship at the end of the season. In fact, the only rider to have won at Jerez in the premier-class and never won a World Title is Alberto Puig, who took victory in 1995.

Rossi pulled off one of the biggest shocks ever in the sport when he took victory on his Yamaha debut in South Africa two weeks ago, becoming the first man ever to win consecutive races on different factory machinery, and it looks like he may have to pull off a similarly unlikely feat this weekend.

Honda riders have dominated the premier-class at Jerez, with fourteen wins out of the seventeen. With Kenny Roberts and Kevin Schwantz taking one each for Suzuki, the only Yamaha win at Jerez was back in 1988 with Eddie Lawson. In fact, Yamaha have had only four riders finish on the podium in the premier-class in the last ten years, with Luca Cadalora (1995), Max Biaggi (1999), Carlos Checa (2000) and Norick Abe (2001) all taking second place.


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