Qatar will be hosting the first round of the 2017 FIM MotoGP Championship this coming weekend and the following is a list of all the stats and facts you need to know.....
– This will be the 14th occasion that a grand prix event has been held at the Losail circuit and the tenth under floodlights.
– This will be the 11th successive year that the Losail circuit has hosted the opening grand prix event of the year.
- After winning the final race of 2016 at Valencia on a Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo has switched to the Ducati factory team for 2017 and will be aiming to become just the second rider ever to win back-to-back premier-class grand prix races on machine from two different manufacturers. The only rider to have previously achieved this was Valentino Rossi who won the opening race of 2004 in South Africa on a Yamaha having won the final race of 2003 at Valencia on a Honda.
- Yamaha have been the most successful manufacturer in the MotoGP™ class at the Losail circuit with seven wins, including four times in the last five years.
- Honda have had three MotoGP wins in Qatar, the last of which was in 2014 with Marc Marquez.
- Ducati won at Losail in three consecutive years, 2007 to 2009, with Casey Stoner riding.
- The best result for a Suzuki rider at the Losail circuit is the fourth place finish by John Hopkins in 2007.
- The riders with most GP victories at Losail is Jorge Lorenzo with six victories (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc).
- The second place finish by Marc Marquez at the final race of 2016 was the 51st time he has stood on the podium in the premier-class of grand prix racing, the same number of podium finishes as both Alex Criville and Kevin Schwantz achieved in their 500cc GP careers. If Marquez finishes in the top three in Qatar he will equal the number of premier-class podium finishes achieved by Wayne Gardner.
- Jonas Folger is the only one of the four rookie in the MotoGP class this year to have previously won at Qatar in any of the smaller classes, having taken the Moto2™ victory there in 2015.
- The last three MotoGP races of 2016 were won by three different manufacturers: Honda, Ducati, Yamaha. Not since 1975 have four successive premier-class GP races been won by four different manufacturers; on that occasion it was Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, MV Agusta.
- Having taken his first victory in the MotoGP last year at Silverstone riding a Suzuki, if Maverick Viñales wins a race at any time in 2017 on the factory Yamaha he will be the second youngest rider of all-time, after Mike Hailwood (Norton & MV Agusta), to have won in the premier-class on bikes from two different manufacturers.
- If Valentino Rossi, at the age of 38, finished in the top three during 2017 he will be the oldest rider to take a premier-class podium since Jack Findlay won the Austrian GP in 1977 – a race that was boycotted by many of the top riders due to safety concerns.
- If Maverick Viñales takes a MotoGP win in 2017 he will be only the fourth rider in the history of grand prix racing to win premier-class races on both Suzuki and Yamaha machinery, along with Barry Sheene, Randy Mamola and Jack Middelburg.