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MotoGP pole jinx could continue at Barcelona

MotoGP pole jinx could continue at Barcelona

When Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner qualified on pole for the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice and failed to capitalise on the situation and win Sunday's race it meant that eight successive MotoGP races had passed without the poleman taking victory.

When Ducati Marlboro rider Casey Stoner qualified on pole for the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice and failed to capitalise on the situation and win Sunday's race it meant that eight successive MotoGP races had passed without the poleman taking victory.

Should the peculiar sequences continue this weekend at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya it would be a new record for premier class races not won from pole, the current run equalling eight race sequences in 1988 and 2000.

The last rider to win from pole was Loris Capirossi in Japan last year and although there were two Grands Prix after that in 2006 the continuation of that run of races without a ‘pole winner' this season may in part be due to the highly competitive nature of the World Championship on a level 800cc playing field in the sport's new era.

Putting the current run into perspective, since 1974 - from when full pole position records are available - 44% of races in the premier class have been won by the rider starting from pole position.

The following list guides you through what has happened at each Grand Prix in the current sequence:

Portugal, October 2006
Valentino Rossi qualified on pole by 0.278s ahead of Yamaha colleague Colin Edwards, but the Italian missed out on victory in the race by just 0.002s as Toni Elias took a dramatic first ever MotoGP win, despite himself starting in 11th place on the grid.

Valencia, October 2006
Rossi took pole again, this time by 0.208s ahead of Australian Troy Bayliss who was replacing the injured and retiring Sete Gibernau for Ducati. In a remarkable end of season contest Rossi just needed to finish ahead of Nicky Hayden to claim his sixth successive World title, but The Doctor famously finished 13th after crashing and re-mounting, whilst Hayden secured the title after finishing third and Bayliss took victory.

Qatar, March 2007
Rossi started the season by taking pole by just 0.005s from Casey Stoner, but once the race was underway the Aussie unleashed the powerful new 800cc Desmosedici GP07 in an awesome display of composed riding to take his first MotoGP victory at the start of just his second season in the premier class, with Rossi finishing second.

Jerez, March 2007
The Spanish crowd were delighted to see Dani Pedrosa lining up on pole but the Repsol Honda rider was unable to prevent Rossi from earning his first win of 2007 as the Yamaha rider came from second on the grid to beat the Spaniard by 1.246s.

Turkey, April 2007
Stoner was back on the top step of the podium, earning his second career victory and his second victory of the season despite qualifying fourth, as he took the lead in the first lap and never looked back. Rossi had taken pole with the excellent Michelin qualifying tyre but finished 10th as his race compounds deteriorated badly at Istanbul Park and he gradually slipped back through the pack over the course of the 22 lap contest.

China, May 2007
The Michelin qualifier did the business for Rossi once again as the seven-time former World Champion took his 48th Grand Prix career pole. Stoner won the race from fourth again, this time battling with Rossi head to head for several laps before opening up an eventual 3.036s gap over the Yamaha man in the final stages.

France, May 2007
A chaotic rain affected Le Mans Grand Prix was won by the man who qualified 12th - Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen brilliantly using his wet weather skills to secure his maiden MotoGP triumph following a mid-race change of machinery – whilst Fiat Yamaha's Colin Edwards finished 12th having started on pole for the first time.

Italy, June 2007
At Mugello qualifying took place in rainy conditions and Stoner took advantage of Rossi's inability to use the Michelin qualifier to earn his first pole as a Ducati rider. However, The Doctor was not to be upstaged on his home patch as he came from third on grid to win his sixth consecutive home Grand Prix, whilst Stoner crossed the line fourth after set-up issues on his Desmosedici left him off the pace on this occasion.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMI CINZANO DE CATALUNYA

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