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MotoGP Sunday guide for Qatar

MotoGP Sunday guide for Qatar

The premier class race facts, figures and points of interest ahead of the opening MotoGP race of the 2008 season in Qatar.

The premier class race facts, figures and points of interest ahead of the opening MotoGP race of the 2008 season in Qatar.

- This is the first time that three Yamaha four-stroke MotoGP machines have filled the front row of the grid. The last time Yamaha riders filled the top three places in the premier-class was at the Sachsenring in 2002, when Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano qualified first and second riding two-stroke machines and Max Biaggi was third on the grid on a four-stroke.

- The last all Michelin front row was at the Japanese Grand Prix last year with Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.

- Jorge Lorenzo is the first rider to start from pole on his premier-class debut since Max Biaggi at the Japanese GP at Suzuka in 1998. Biaggi is also the last rider to win on his debut in the premier-class.

- If Jorge Lorenzo takes the race victory he will become the first rider to have won a MotoGP race at the Losail circuit from pole position. He could also become only the third rider to win a MotoGP race riding a four-stroke Yamaha - joining Max Biaggi and Valentino Rossi.

- James Toseland is the first British rider to qualify on the front row for a MotoGP race since Jeremy McWilliams was second on the grid at the German GP in 2003 riding a two-stroke Proton. If Toseland finishes in the top three it would be the first podium by a British rider in the premier-class since McWilliams was third at Donington in 2000 riding an Aprilia.

- Colin Edwards will be starting from the front row for the first time since he was on pole at the British GP last year.

- Casey Stoner is the highest qualifier using Bridgestone tyres. Last year in Qatar Stoner scored his first ever MotoGP victory on his debut ride with the factory Ducati.

- Randy de Puniet is the top Honda qualifier in his first race riding a Honda and his first on Michelin tyres.

- Nicky Hayden has finished in the top five three times at Qatar; he was fifth in 2004, finished third with a new lap record in 2005 and finished second in 2006 less than one second behind Rossi.

- If Valentino Rossi finishes in the top three he will become the first rider ever to have stood on the podium on 100 occasions in the premier-class.

- Dani Pedrosa will be starting from his lowest grid position since he was ninth on the grid at the Dutch TT last year.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

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