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Qatar 2018 – Riders Facts and Stats
- The only win in the MotoGP class for Marc Marquez in the opening race of the year was in 2014, which was also his only pole at the Losail circuit since moving up to the MotoGP class. His third place finish two years ago is his only podium in the last three years at Qatar.
- Andrea Dovizioso has finished second in Qatar for the last three years and also started from pole in 2015.
- In Qatar last year Viñales started from pole for the first time since moving up to the MotoGP class, adding to his previous poles in Moto2 and Moto3, to become the first rider to start from pole across all three current classes.
- Yamaha riders have won in Qatar for the las three years: Rossi in 2015, Lorenzo in 2016 and Viñales last year.
- Following his win in Qatar last year, Viñales will be aiming to become the first rider to win the opening race of the season in successive years since Jorge Lorenzo in 2012 and 2013.
- After winning the final race of 2017, Dani Pedrosa will be aiming to take back to back wins for the first time since he won at Jerez and Le Mans in 2013. Pedrosa has never won the opening race of the year in his twelve years in the MotoGP class.
- Pedrosa’s victory at Valencia was the 54th time he has stood on the top step of a grand prix podium, and on every occasion he has been riding a Honda. This is the same number of GP win on a Honda as Mick Doohan. No rider has had more victories than these two riders on Honda machinery.
- Bradley Smith is scheduled to become just the third British rider to reach the milestone of 200 grand prix starts across all class, joining Chas Mortimer (234 GP starts) and Phil Read (212 GP starts).
- Jorge Lorenzo is the rider who has had most GP wins at the Losail circuit, with six victories (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc). He has also started from pole at Qatar on eight occasions (1 x 125cc, 3 x 250cc, 4 x MotoGP).
- Johann Zarco crashed in Qatar last year when leading the race on his debut in the MotoGP class. He best result in Qatar is 6th in the 125cc race back in 2011. Only one French rider has ever won the opening premier-class GP of the year – Pierre Monneret on a Gilera at Reims in 1954; following this win is also the only time that a French rider has topped the premier-class world championship classification.
- At the Qatar Grand Prix Dani Pedrosa is scheduled to become just the fifth rider to reach the milestone of 200 starts in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing, and the first Spanish rider to do this. At the age if 32 years 170 days Pedrosa is the youngest ever rider to reach this milestone, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 33 years 73 days old when making his 200th premier-class GP start at Jerez in 2012.
- Tom Luthi joins the MotoGP class for 2018 and is the first Swiss rider to compete in the premier-class since Eskil Suter rode a 500cc MuZ in 1998.
- Takaaki Nakagami is the first Japanese rider to race full-time in the MotoGP class since Hiroshi Aoyama in 2014.
- Xavier Simeon is the first Belgium rider to compete in the premier-class since Sebastien Legrelle in the 500cc class in 2000.
- Hafizh Syahrin is the first ever Malaysian rider to compete in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing.