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17 days ago
By motogp.com

Mir and Rins out to match Suzuki legend Schwantz

Ahead of the biggest Sunday of the year so far, delve into some stats that have surfaced after a brilliant qualifying day in Valencia

Sunday at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana is the biggest day of the 2020 MotoGP™ season so far. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has his first match point, but if he’s going to bag his second World Championship title, he’ll have to do it the hard way from P12 on the grid.

To get yourself set for a huge race day, here’s 10 statistics that have emerged from qualifying:

1. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) has qualified on pole position for the second time, along with Catalunya earlier this season. This is the first pole position for an Italian in Valencia since Valentino Rossi in 2014.

2. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), who finished third at the Valencia GP last year, has qualified second as the top Ducati rider, equalling his best qualifying result so far this season from Austria, Emilia Romagna and France. This is also the best qualifying for Ducati in Valencia since Andrea Iannone was second at the 2014 Valencia GP.

 

3. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) has qualified in third place, which is his fourth front row start in MotoGP™ along with Styria, Teruel and Europe this year. He is the first Honda rider other than Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) to take three front row starts in a row since Dani Pedrosa in Malaysia and Valencia 2014, and in Qatar 2015.

4. Polesitter at the European GP, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) has finished on the podium in MotoGP™ at Valencia twice: third in 2018 for his maiden podium in the class – which was also the first for KTM in the class – and third last weekend.

5. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who started from pitlane last weekend, has qualified sixth, which is the seventh time so far this year he has failed to start from the front row.

 

6. After passing through Q1, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) is ninth, which is his best qualifying since he was sixth at the Emilia Romagna GP this year.

7. With Pol Espargaro, Brad Binder and 10th place Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3), this is the second time there are three KTM riders within the top 10 in qualifying in MotoGP™ along with the European GP last weekend.

8. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) has qualified 11th, which is the second time since he stepped up to MotoGP™ that he has failed to qualify within the top 10, along with last week at the European GP – where he was also 11th.

 

9. Mir, who has a chance to clinch the MotoGP™ title on Sunday, has qualified 12th, which is the fifth time so far this year he has failed to qualify within the top 10.

10. Mir and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) will be aiming to become the first Suzuki rider to take four premier class podiums in four successive races since Kevin Schwantz in 1994, when the American was on the rostrum in Japan, Spain, Austria and Germany.

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