MotoGP 2014 – Round Five – Le Mans – Sunday Race Day Guide – Official statistics compiled by Dr. Martin Raines
• Marc Marquez is the first rider to start from pole at six or more successive MotoGP races since Casey Stoner in 2008 riding a Ducati. If Marquez wins the race it will be the first time that a rider has won five or more successive premier-class races from pole since Mick Doohan in 1997, on a Honda.
• Pol Espargaro starts from second place on the grid in just his fifth race in the MotoGP class, the best qualifying result by a satellite Yamaha rider since Cal Crutchlow was on pole at Brno last year.
• Andrea Dovizioso is in third place on the grid, which is the first front row start for Ducati since Nicky Hayden was third fastest qualifier at Motegi last year, which was also the last time that three different manufacturers were represented on the front row.
• Heading the second row of the grid is Stefan Bradl, who will be aiming to get on the podium for the first time since he was second at Laguna Seca last year.
• In fifth place on the grid is Valentino Rossi, who has had nine podium finishes in the premier-class at Le Mans, including three victories
• Taking the final place on the second row is Jorge Lorenzo, his worst qualifying result since he was sixth on the grid at Laguna Seca last year.
• Heading the third row of the grid is Alvaro Bautista – his best qualifying result since he was in second place on the grid at the opening race of the year in Qatar.
• Aleix Espargaro is in eighth place on the grid, which is his worst qualifying result since he was ninth on the grid in Qatar.
• Ninth fastest qualifier is last year’s winner at Le Mans, Dani Pedrosa – his worst starting position since he was 12th on the grid at the Portuguese Grand Prix in 2010. If Pedrosa finishes in the top three in the race, he will have started the season with podium finishes at the first five races of the year for the first time since moving up to the MotoGP class in 2006.
• Bradley Smith heads the fourth row of the grid, which is his worst qualifying result so far in 2014.
• Jonas Folger has qualified on pole in just his fifth start in the Moto2 class. He is the youngest German rider to start from pole in the intermediate-class of GP racing, just two weeks after becoming the youngest German rider to finish on the podium in the Moto2/250cc class since 1956.
• Championship leader Tito Rabat has qualified on the front row for the fourth time from the opening five races of 2014.
• In third place on the grid is Luis Salom, his second successive front row start in his first season in the Moto2 class.
• Heading the second row of the grid is winner last time out Mika Kallio, who finished second last year in the Moto2 race at Le Mans. Kallio will be aiming to win back-to-back races for the first time in his GP career.
• In fifth place on the grid is Thomas Luthi, who has won three times previously at Le Mans, in the 125cc class in 2005 & 2006 and in Moto2 in 2012.
• Taking the final place on the second row is Simone Corsi – his best qualifying result so far in 2014.
• Heading the third row of the grid is Maverick Viñales, who has won twice at Le Mans in the last three years; the 125cc race in 2011 (his first GP win) and the Moto3 race last year.
• Twenty seven year old Efren Vazquez starts from pole for the first time in his GP career in what is his 111th grand prix start. Vazquez has finished in the top three in GP racing on seven occasions, but has yet to stand on the top step.
• Jack Miller is in second place on the grid, continuing his run of successive front row starts at the first five Moto3 races of 2014.
• Alex Rins, who is in third place on the grid, has finished on the podium in each of the last two years at Le Mans; third place in 2012 and second last year.
• Heading the second row of the grid is home rider Alexis Masbou, his best qualifying result since the Malaysian GP last year.
• Niklas Ajo is in fifth place on the grid, which equals his best qualifying result in GP racing which he achieved at Losail and Assen in 2012.
• Taking the final place on the second row is Isaac Viñales, whose fifth place finish two weeks ago at Jerez is the best result of his GP career.
• In tenth place on the grid is Romano Fenati, the winner of the last two races. Two of Fenati’s three career GP wins have come from tenth place on the grid. If Fenati wins the race he will be the first Italian rider to win three successive lightweight-class grand prix since Marco Melandri in 1999.