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Interesting facts and stats ahead of the race

Interesting facts and stats ahead of the race

Interesting facts and stats ahead of the race

> Sete Gibernau starts from pole for the third successive race and becomes the first rider other than Rossi to take three consecutive pole positions in the premier-class since Max Biaggi in 2001.

> Gibernau's pole position time is the fastest ever lap of the Catalunya circuit by a motorcycle, 1.331 seconds faster than the previous pole position record set last year by Valentino Rossi.

> The top twelve riders on the grid have lapped faster than the previous pole position record.

> The top twenty riders on the grid have lapped faster than the existing lap record set last year by Rossi.

> If Valentino Rossi wins the GP of Catalunya it will be the first back-to-back victories in the premier-class for Yamaha since Garry McCoy won at Estoril and then Valencia in 2000.

> If the MotoGP race is not won by a rider taking his debut win in the class then it will be 35 races since the last time there was a first-time winner in the premier-class, that being Tohru Ukawa at the South African GP in 2002. This equals the current record for the longest ever string of races in the premier-class without a rider taking his debut win, from the Czech GP in 1966 to the Ulster GP in 1969.

> Nicky Hayden, who qualified in 18th place last year at Catalunya, starts from the front row for the second successive race. Hayden has qualified with a time more than three seconds faster than his qualifying time last year.

> If Max Biaggi finishes in the top three it will be his 50th podium in the premier-class.

> Marco Melandri, who starts from fifth place on the grid for the second successive race, won the 250cc GP at Catalunya in 2002.

> Alex Barros has raced in all twelve previous Grand Prix in Catalunya, his best results being fifth place in 1993 riding a Suzuki and in 2002 on the two-stroke Honda .

> Seventh place on the grid for Ruben Xaus is the best qualifying result this year for any of the Ducati riders.

> John Hopkins will be starting from eighth place on the grid, his best qualifying result since he was seventh on the grid at Jerez last year. This is also the best grid position for any Suzuki rider during 2004.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRAN PREMI GAULOISES DE CATALUNYA, WUP

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