Paddock Porty - in Shanghai, China

Written By POLDA METRO JAYA on Friday, February 5, 2010 | Friday, February 05, 2010

If Valentino Rossi finishes in the top three in China he will be the first Yamaha rider in the premier-class since Wayne Rainey in 1994 to have scored podium finishes at the first three races of the year. Sixth place on the grid is his lowest qualifying result since the Qatar GP last year. Rossi is more than one second slower than the pole position rider for the first time since the British GP in 2002 - a race he went on to win.
Sete Gibernau starts from pole position for the eighth time in his Grand Prix career and for the first time since the Australian GP last year.
Marco Melandri starts from second place on the grid, his best ever qualifying result in the premier-class. Melandri has scored more points in the first two races of this year than he did in the final ten races of 2004.
Loris Capirossi starts from the front row of the grid for the first time since the Australian GP last year.
John Hopkins starts from fourth place on the grid, his best qualifying result since he was second on the grid at Motegi last year.
Nicky Hayden will be aiming to get on the podium for the first time since the German GP last year.
For the first time since the Rio GP last year there are no Yamaha riders qualified in the top five places on the grid.
The 2000 World Champion, Kenny Roberts, will be making his 150th Grand Prix start, 18 of which were in the 250cc class.
Shinya Nakano is making his 100th Grand Prix start, which include 34 races in the 250cc class.
Alex Barros will be aiming to take back-to-back wins for the first time in his Grand Prix career and in doing so would become the oldest rider to score back-to-back wins in the class since Phil Read in 1974.
Max Biaggi, who has qualified down in 14th place on the grid, is starting his 200th Grand Prix race.
After winning his first race in the 250cc class in Portugal, Casey Stoner starts from pole for the first time in the class. Stoner becomes the third youngest rider ever to start from pole in 250 after Marco Melandri and Dani Pedrosa. This is also the first pole in the 250cc class for an Australian rider since Greg Hansford at the French GP in 1979 riding a Kawasaki.
Since crashing out of the Spanish GP last year, in what was only his second race on a 250cc machine, Dani Pedrosa has had 16 consecutive top four finishes.
Andrea Dovizioso starts from a best ever third place on the grid, in only his third start in the 250cc class.

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