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Updated facts and statistics ahead of the race

Updated facts and statistics ahead of the race

Updated facts and statistics ahead of the race

> Valentino Rossi starts from pole for the 26th time in the premier-class. This is the fourth time in five years he has started from pole at Jerez.

> Rossi's pole position time is the fastest ever lap of the Jerez circuit by a motorcycle. The top 17 riders on the grid have lapped faster than the existing lap record set in 2003 by Rossi. The top 10 riders on the grid have qualified faster than Rossi's pole time from last year.

> Valentino Rossi is aiming to be only the second Yamaha rider to take victory in the premier-class at Jerez; the only other rider to do so was Eddie Lawson back in 1988. If Rossi wins the race he will become only the second rider in the 56-year history of Grand Prix racing to have won the opening race of the season for five consecutive years. Tthe only other rider having to have achieved this is Giacomo Agostini. Also a victory for Rossi would make him the first Yamaha rider since Eddie Lawson in 1986 to score four consecutive victories in the premier-class.

> Sete Gibernau has twice finished on the podium at Jerez, having won the race last year and finished third in 1999 on-board the V-twin Honda.

> Marco Melandri's third place on the grid equals his best ever qualifying result in the premier-class he achieved at the British GP at Donington in 2003. Melandri has not previously scored any points in his two appearances in the premier-class at Jerez, having finished 17th in 2003 after running off into the gravel trap, and crashing last year in the rain when he was riding in third place.

> Nicky Hayden, who finished fifth last year at Jerez, crashed out of the Spanish GP in 2003 on the ninth lap. Hayden crashed three times in his last six starts of 2004; at Brno, Motegi and Valencia.

> Shinya Nakano scored his best result at Jerez when he finished 4th in 2001, his first year in the premier-class.

> Loris Capirossi has not had much luck at Jerez on the Ducati, having crashed out of the Spanish GP in 2003 after taking the first ever pole for Ducati in the premier-class, and finishing 12th last year in the wet conditions.

> Makoto Tamada finished 2004 very strongly - having exactly equalled Sete Gibernau's score of 131 points over the last ten races of the year.

> Alex Barros, who first raced at Jerez in the top class in 1990, scored his first podium at the circuit last year. Barros had a strong finish to 2004, scoring six consecutive top six finishes.

> Max Biaggi's sixteenth place on the grid is his lowest ever qualifying result in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing. Biaggi has qualified three tenths of a second faster than he did at Jerez last year when he started from fourth on the grid.

> Toni Elias, who has qualified in 13th place on his MotoGP debut, is the second best qualifier from the four Yamaha riders.

> Colin Edwards makes his debut on the Yamaha at Jerez and will become the first rider in the MotoGP class to race four-stroke machines from three different factories having raced for Aprilia in 2003 and Honda last year.


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