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Shanghai breaks a two-year run of Spanish podiums

Shanghai breaks a two-year run of Spanish podiums

Shanghai breaks a two-year run of Spanish podiums

The historic Chinese GP in Shanghai last Sunday kicked-off amidst a blaze of ceremonial festivity and considerable speculation as the world of MotoGP waited with baited breath to find out who would go down in the history books as the first rider to conquer the menacing Shanghai track. The visit to China – presenting a unique opportunity for the various riders to be the first to mount the historic Shanghai podium – did not prove to be overly fruitful for the "Spanish Army" which had to return home without a single podium appearance.

Even with such a large presence at Shanghai, the dream did not materialise for a single Spanish rider across the tree categories. The result certainly did not feature amongst the pre-race speculation; but then again, it had been two years – in the 2003 GP of Japan – since the Spanish Army had left a GP so empty-handed.

Having kicked-off the 2003 season, the Japanese GP at Suzuka ended with the same disappointing results for the Spaniards. The race saw Sete Gibernau finish off the podium in fourth position. Fonsi Nieto finished sixth and Pablo Nieto had to settle for seventh position. No Grand Prix had passed since without some kind of Spanish representation on the podium – at least until last Sunday.

Aside from China, the 2005 season so far has seen a reasonable amount of Spaniards in the mix. Jerez saw Pedrosa take his first home victory, while Gibernau was just beaten to first place by archrival Valentino Rossi. In 125cc, however, Pablo Nieto fought to no avail, finishing in 12th place.

The Portuguese GP at Estoril saw only one Spaniard mount the podium, Héctor Faubel who took second place behind Finn Mika Kallio. With the next race being at Le Mans, a circuit that has generally been good to the Spanish riders, the Spanish Army should be able to make the first step in chalking the China experience up to a random occurrence in history.


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