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Interesting facts and figures ahead of Sunday's race

Interesting facts and figures ahead of Sunday's race

Interesting facts and figures ahead of Sunday's race

> Loris Capirossi starts from pole position for the first time since the Portuguese Grand Prix in 2003, which was also the last time a Ducati rider was on pole. Capirossi has never taken victory in the premier-class after having started from pole position.

> Loris Capirossi's pole position time is the fastest-ever lap by a motorcycle at the Motegi circuit. The top fifteen riders have lapped faster than the lap record set by Makoto Tamada last year.

> This is the first pole for a rider using Bridgestone tyres since Makoto Tamada qualified in top spot at the final race of 2004 in Valencia. This is also only the second time that Bridgestone riders have taken the top two grid positions, the previous occasion being at the same circuit last year.

> John Hopkins, who is starting from the front row for the first time in 2005, has equalled his best ever qualifying result, which he achieved at Motegi last year.

> Marco Melandri will be looking to score his first podium position since he finished second at the Dutch TT back in June.

> Makoto Tamada starts from his best grid position since he was on pole at the Valencia Grand Prix last year.

> Max Biaggi, who won at Motegi in 2003, starts from his best grid position since he qualified fourth at the Catalan GP.

> Nicky Hayden's third place in 2003 at Motegi was his first podium finish in Grand Prix racing.

> Seventh place qualifier, Sete Gibernau, has twice previously won Grand Prix races having started from seventh place on the grid; in France and Holland in 2003.

> Kenny Roberts is making his 100th Grand Prix start since joining Suzuki at the start of 1999. The only rider who has made more appearances in the premier-class riding a Suzuki is Kevin Schwantz with 104 starts.

> Valentino Rossi, who is the top Yamaha qualifier, is starting from his lowest grid position since he qualified 11th at the German GP in 2001. Rossi also qualified 11th at the British GP in 2001, a race he went on to win.

> Alex Hofmann has qualified higher on the grid than his team-mate Shinya Nakano for the first time this year.


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