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Interesting facts before the MotoGP race

Interesting facts before the MotoGP race

Interesting facts before the MotoGP race

· Loris Capirossi starts from pole for the first time since the opening race of the year at Jerez. Last year at Motegi was the first time that Capirossi had done the clean sweep in the premier-class of race win, lap record and pole position.

· Loris Capirossi's qualifying time is the fastest ever lap of the Motegi circuit by a motorcycle, more than sixth-tenths of a second faster than his own record set last year. The top seventeen riders on the grid have qualified faster than Capirossi's current lap record from last year's race.

· The top four places on the MotoGP grid are filled by four different manufacturers.

· The last time that Italian riders filled the top three places on the grid was at the Portuguese GP in 2003.

· Valentino Rossi's second place on the grid is his best ever qualifying result at the Motegi circuit. Rossi has never had a victory on a four-stroke bike at Motegi.

· Marco Melandri will be starting from the front row for only the second time in 2006, the other being at the British GP at Donington Park.

· Shinya Nakano finished on the podium at Motegi in 2004 which was the first ever podium for the Kawasaki MotoGP machine.

· Sete Gibernau will be aiming to finish on the podium for the first time since he was second in Germany last year.

· Toni Elias has won twice in the 250cc class at Motegi, including his first ever victory in the class in 2002.

· Nicky Hayden, who has not had a podium since his victory at Laguna Seca, is starting from his lowest grid position since the British GP. Hayden is now the only rider in the MotoGP class who has scored points at all fourteen races this year.

· Dani Pedrosa has finished on the podium on four occasions at Motegi, including victories in the 125cc race in 2002 and on a 250cc machine in 2004. If Pedrosa wins the race he will become the youngest ever rider to win in three different classes at the same circuit, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who won the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes at the Isle of Man TT races in 1961.

· Kenny Roberts' victory at Motegi in 2000 was the last dry weather GP win for Suzuki.


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