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Interesting statistics ahead of the race

Interesting statistics ahead of the race

Interesting statistics ahead of the race

> Valentino Rossi starts from pole for the third time in 2004 and for the 23rd time in his career in the premier-class.

> This is the first pole for Yamaha in the premier-class at the Dutch TT since Christian Sarron was on pole in 1988.

> Rossi's pole position time is the fastest ever lap of the Assen circuit by a motorcycle, more than one second faster than the previous pole position record set last year by Loris Capirossi.

> If Rossi takes the race victory, he will be the first Yamaha rider to win three or more consecutive races in the premier-class since Eddie Lawson back in 1986.

> Carlos Checa, who starts from the front row for the third time in 2004, is the only rider to have finished on the podium at Assen riding the four-stroke Yamaha machine.

> Yamaha riders have qualified in the top two positions on the grid for the first time since the German GP in 2002, when Jacque and Nakano were the top two qualifiers on the two-stroke Yamaha machines.

> Sete Gibernau, the winner at Assen last year, has now scored points at eighteen consecutive races and stood on the podium at the last six races.

> Gibernau is the only rider in all three classes to have been on the podium at the first five races of the year.

> Marco Melandri, who has won at Assen in both the 125cc and 250cc classes, scored his first ever MotoGP podium at the last round at Catalunya, making him the youngest podium finisher since the introduction of the four-stoke machine at the start of 2002.

> Shinya Nakano's fifth place on the grid is the best qualifying result for a Kawasaki rider in the premier-class since Kork Ballington qualified in fourth place for the Grand Prix of Finland at the Imatra circuit back in 1981.

> Ballington's third place finish in that same race was the last podium finish for a Kawasaki in the premier-class.

> Alex Barros, who is making his 200th start in the premier-class, has finished on the podium on five occasions at Assen on three different makes of machines, including a win in 2000 on the two-stroke Honda.

> Kenny Roberts' seventh place on the grid is his best qualifying result since he qualified in the same position at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka at the start of 2003.

> Alex Hofmann starts from eleventh place on the grid, his best ever qualifying in the MotoGP class.

> Max Biaggi, who won at Assen in 2001, celebrates his 33rd birthday on race day and will be starting his 100th Grand Prix in the premier-class.

> Biaggi has qualified in his lowest grid position since he qualified in 12th place for the Australian GP in 2000, a race he then went on to win.


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