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Experience counts in MotoGP

Experience counts in MotoGP

Experience counts in MotoGP

Whilst the Gran Premio Marlboro de España at Jerez last week was a clear indication of the dominance of the Honda RC211V in the wet, with the Japanese factory filling the top three steps of the podium, it also proved beyond doubt that one of the main keys to success in MotoGP, and particularly in the wet, is experience.

At an average age of 32 years and 31 weeks, the top three finishers in Spain, Sete Gibernau, Max Biaggi and Alex Barros, represent the oldest podium in the premier-class since the boycotted Austrian Grand Prix in 1977, when the three podium finishers were Jack Findlay (42), Max Wiener (30) and Alex George (28), who together had an average age of 33 years and 26 weeks.

Gibernau, Biaggi and Barros also have a combined total of 539 Grand Prix starts and are among the most successful riders not to have won the premier-class title. The rider with most wins without having won the championship is Randy Mamola with thirteen, followed closely by Biaggi on twelve, Luca Cadalora with eight and Barros and Gibernau, who both have six.

The Spanish race was also the 32nd consecutive Grand Prix without a first time winner. The last time a rider took his debut victory in the premier-class was at Welkom in 2002, when Tohru Ukawa clinched his only MotoGP win. This is the second longest ever string of consecutive races without a first time winner, the longest being a 35 race spell from the Czech Grand Prix in 1966 to the Italian Grand Prix of 1969.

MotoGP, 2004

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