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Interesting facts before the MotoGP race

Interesting facts before the MotoGP race

Interesting facts before the MotoGP race

· For the third successive race there are three different manufacturers represented on the front row of the MotoGP grid.

· Dani Pedrosa is the youngest ever rider to have back-to-back pole positions in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing. If Pedrosa wins the race he will become the youngest rider ever to take back-to-back victories in the premier-class and it would also make him the first rider to have won in all three classes at Le Mans.

· Second place on the grid is Shinya Nakano's best qualifying result since he joined the Kawasaki Team at the start of 2004.

· Nakano's second place on the grid is the best ever qualifying result for Kawasaki in the MotoGP class and with his team mate in fourth place on the grid, this is also the first time that Kawasaki has had two riders qualify in the top four places.

· John Hopkins, who celebrates his 23rd birthday on the day after the French GP, is starting from the front row for the second successive race. Hopkins' fourth place finish in China is his best result in Grand Prix racing and the best dry weather Grand Prix result for Suzuki since Sete Gibernau finished fourth at the Czech GP in 2002.

· Randy De Puniet, who has finished on the podium for the last four years in the 250cc class at Le Mans, will be starting from his best grid position since moving to the MotoGP class for 2006. If De Puniet finishes in the top three he would be the first French rider to finish on the podium in the premier-class at his home Grand Prix since Christian Sarron was second at Paul Ricard in 1988.

· Fifth place on the grid is Marco Melandri's best qualifying result so far in 2006.v · Loris Capirossi, who won the 250cc race at the French GP at Le Mans back in 1994, has been the first Ducati across the line at the first four races of this year.

· Valentino Rossi has failed to qualify on the front row for the seventh successive race, since he was second on the grid in Australia last year.

· Le Mans is the only circuit at which Sete Gibernau has taken two Grand Prix victories, having won there in both 2003 and 2004.

· Carlos Checa will be making his 100th GP start in the premier-class riding a Yamaha. Only Norick Abe has made more premier-class appearances on a Yamaha with 143.

· Nicky Hayden is starting from his lowest grid position since he was 14th placed qualifier at the Australian GP in 2004.


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