All the best stats ahead of the 2024 MotoGP™ season opener

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The 75th MotoGP™ World Championship campaign is set for lift off at the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar this weekend, where Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) begins his title defence in the desert. We will also witness Marc Marquez’ (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) Ducati debut, and a first MotoGP™ race for Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3). Ahead of the 2024 curtain raiser at Lusail International Circuit, why not delve into some of the best stats available?

Welcome to Qatar!

This will be the 22nd Grand Prix at Lusail since it joined the calendar in 2004, and the 18th under floodlights. From 2007 to 2022, the Qatar GP was also the season opener. Last year it then moved to later in the year as the circuit underwent some renovation, but now it’s back as the opening showdown of the season for MotoGP™ to enjoy its stunning new paddock and whole new set of facilities.

Qatar is one of eight Asian countries to host a Grand Prix (solo classes) along with Indonesia, Turkey, Japan, Thailand, China, Malaysia, and India. It’s also one of the 13 circuits that have been used for GP racing in Asia so far: Motegi (69 races), Sepang (68), Lusail (62), Suzuka (56), Shah Alam (21), Shanghai (12), Buriram (12), Istanbul Park (9), Fisco/Fuji (8), Sentul (6), Mandalika (6), Johor (3), and Buddh (3).

Most successful riders at Lusail:

Jorge Lorenzo 6 (3 x MotoGP™, 2 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc) – Casey Stoner 5 (4 x MotoGP™, 1 x 250cc) – Valentino Rossi 4 (4 x MotoGP™) – Maverick Viñales 3 (2 x MotoGP™, 1 x Moto3™) – Andrea Dovizioso 2 (2 x MotoGP™) – Marc Marquez 2 (1 x MotoGP™, 1 x Moto2™) – Sam Lowes 2 (2 x Moto2™) – Nico Terol 2 (2 x 125cc) – Jaume Masia 2 (2 x Moto3™)

Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Grand Prix of Qatar

Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Grand Prix of Qatar

Races at Lusail (62): 20 MotoGP™, 15 Moto2™, 6 250cc, 13 Moto3™, 8 125cc

Factories at Lusail: best results

Most wins: Yamaha 10 – Ducati 7 – Honda 3

Yamaha: Yamaha is the most successful manufacturer at Lusail with 10 MotoGP™ wins, with four riders: Valentino Rossi (2005, 2006, 2010, 2015), Jorge Lorenzo (2012, 2013, 2016), Maverick Viñales (2017, 2021/1) and Fabio Quartararo (2021/2).

Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Qatar RACE

Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Qatar RACE

Ducati: Ducati have had seven MotoGP™ wins in Qatar with four riders, Casey Stoner (2007, 2008, 2009), Andrea Dovizioso (2018, 2019), Enea Bastianini (2022) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (2023).

Honda: Honda have had three MotoGP™ wins in Qatar with three riders: Sete Gibernau (2004), Casey Stoner (2011) and Marc Marquez (2014).

Aprilia: Aprilia’s best MotoGP™ result in Qatar is P4 with Aleix Espargaro (2022) and Maverick Viñales (2023).

KTM: KTM made their full-time debut in MotoGP™ here in 2017. Brad Binder finished second in 2022, which is the best result for the Austrian manufacturer at this track in the class so far.

10 riders on the grid have MotoGP™ podiums here: M. Marquez (5), Francesco Bagnaia (2), Viñales (2), Johann Zarco (2), Bastianini (1), Quartararo (1), Jorge Martin (1), Binder (1), Luca Marini (1), Di Giannantonio (1).

6 have taken pole: Viñales (2), Martin (2), M. Marquez (1), Zarco (1), Bagnaia (1), Marini (1).

What happens if…

868 – If Marc Marquez wins the Grand Prix race, it will be 868 days since his last GP win at the 2021 Emilia-Romagna GP. As a comparison, there were 581 days between Valencia 2019, his last win prior to his arm injury sustained in Jerez in 2020, and his next win at the 2021 German GP.

61 – If at least one Ducati qualifies in the top three, it will be the 61st successive race that a Ducati rider starts on the front row, stretching back to Valencia 2020.

47 – Ducati is on a streak of 46 consecutive GP races with at least one rider on the podium. If they take a podium this weekend, they will extend their record to 47.

19 – He’ll be 19 years and 290 days old on Sunday, so if Pedro Acosta wins the Qatar GP, he’ll become the youngest rider to win in the premier class, taking the record from Marc Marquez (20 years and 63 days old in Austin in 2013). If he finishes on the podium, he becomes the third-youngest rider to do so behind Randy Mamola (19 years and 261 days old – Finland 1979) and Eduardo Salatino (19 years and 274 days old – Argentina 1962).

6 – Six riders on the grid could take their maiden MotoGP™ win this weekend: Alex Marquez, Raul Fernandez, Luca Marini, Takaaki Nakagami, Augusto Fernandez and rookie Pedro Acosta.

6 – Since 2019, there have been five different MotoGP™ winners at Lusail: Andrea Dovizioso (2019), Fabio Quartararo (2021/1), Maverick Viñales (2021/2), Enea Bastianini (2022) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (2023). Another one would make it six in the last six races here.

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing MotoGP™, Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar

Fabio Di Giannantonio, Gresini Racing MotoGP™, Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar

3 – If Jack Miller, Maverick Viñales or Alex Rins win the GP race, they will become the first rider to win on a bike from three different manufacturers since the start of the MotoGP™ era in 2002.

3 – If Marc or Alex Marquez win the Grand Prix race, it will be the third win in a row for Gresini Racing MotoGP™ in Qatar after success for Enea Bastianini in 2022 and Fabio Di Giannantonio in 2023.

1 – Aprilia and KTM riders could give their factory a maiden premier class win at Lusail. 

MotoGP™ Facts and Stats

777 points are up for grabs this season: 525 on Sunday and 252 on Saturday. That means it’s 32.4% (almost 1/3) of points up for grabs in Tissot Sprints.

The MotoGP™ race in Qatar has been won five times by a rider who has not qualified on the front row: Valentino Rossi (2006, 2015), Casey Stoner (2008), Andrea Dovizioso (2018) and Fabio Quartararo (2021/2).

The top 15 in the MotoGP™ race at the 2021 Doha GP is the closest ever in the premier class. There were 8.928 seconds between Fabio Quartararo and Miguel Oliveira.

In the MotoGP™ era since 2002, 10 riders have won the opening race of the year: Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Maverick Viñales, Andrea Dovizioso, Fabio Quartararo, Enea Bastianini and Francesco Bagnaia.

Since 2001, the rider who clinched the title at the end of the year didn’t stand on the podium at the opening race only six times: 2008 (Rossi), 2015 (Lorenzo), 2017 (Marquez), 2020 (Mir), Quartararo (2021) and Bagnaia (2022).

Of them, only Mir and Bagnaia didn’t finish in the top five. They both retired from the race: Mir crashed out at the Spanish GP in 2020 while Bagnaia crashed out in 2022 at the Qatar GP.

13 World Champions in MotoGP™ in 2024

The 2024 MotoGP™ grid comprises 22 riders. There’s one rookie: Pedro Acosta.

There are 13 GP World Champions on the full-time grid, just one less than the record set in 2022. They have 26 World Championships between them, two more than last year. The record there is 32, set in 2018.

16 riders are premier class winners – three more than in 2023 – and they have 136 wins between them, a 20-win increase on last year.

All 22 riders have at least one Grand Prix victory across all classes, with a total of 347 victories between them, (326 in 2023).

The only rookie in MotoGP™ this year is a GP winner and a two-time World Champion: Pedro Acosta (16 wins), 2023 Moto2™ World Champion and 2021 Moto3™ World Champion.

On this day…

Almost 20 years ago, back in the 2004 125cc race in Qatar, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso crossed the line at the exact same time. As he set the fastest lap, Lorenzo was declared the winner.

March 8th

In 2008, Lorenzo qualified on pole ahead of James Toseland, who were both making their debuts. This was the last time we had a rookie 1-2 on the grid until the 2022 Italian GP with Di Giannantonio ahead of Bezzecchi.

March 9th

In 2008, Casey Stoner won the first ever MotoGP™ race to be run under floodlights at the Qatar circuit. Mattia Pasini won his first race in the intermediate category ahead Hector Barbera and Mika Kallio. With his third place in the 125cc race, Stefan Bradl stood on the podium for the first time in his Grand Prix career.

March 10th

In 2007, Casey Stoner won the first MotoGP™ race he was competing in with Ducati. Marc Marquez and Franco Morbidelli could do the same in Qatar this year.

Previously in Qatar:

#1 Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) has four podiums here, including a win in Moto2™ in 2018 on his way to the title. His other podiums are: P3s in Moto3™ in 2016 (his second podium) and in MotoGP™ in 2021/1 (from his maiden MotoGP™ pole) and P2 in 2023 after a great battle with Fabio Di Giannantonio. In 2022, he crashed out from P6 at Turn 1 on Lap 12, collecting Jorge Martin.

#5 Johann Zarco (Castrol Honda LCR) has two podiums here, finishing P2s in both MotoGP™ races held in 2021. In 2021/2 (Doha GP), he finished P2 behind Fabio Quartararo for the first French 1-2 in the premier class. In 2017, Zarco raced for the first time in MotoGP™, led the first six laps before crashing out. He qualified on pole for the MotoGP™ race here in 2018. He finished P12 in 2023, equalling his second-worst result of that season from Malaysia (after Austria where he finished P13).

#10 Luca Marini (Repsol Honda Team) finished P3 in MotoGP™ in 2023 (his second MotoGP™ podium), which is his best GP result at Lusail. He also qualified on pole for the second time in the class. In 2020, he qualified second in Moto2™ with the exact same time as the polesitter Joe Roberts. In 2023, he took his fourth Sprint podium of the season, finishing P3. 

#12 Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) has three wins at Lusail: in Moto3™ in 2012 (the first ever Moto3™ race) and in MotoGP™ in both 2017 (from pole), his first race with Yamaha, and in 2021/1. He finished P4 in 2023, equalling Aprilia’s best result from Aleix Espargaro in 2022.

#20 Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team) has won at Lusail once, in MotoGP™ in 2021/2 the Doha GP. In 2015, he made his GP debut here aged 15 years and 343 days old, becoming the youngest rider to compete in Moto3™ at that time. In his first MotoGP™ race in 2019, he stalled on the grid, started from pitlane and still finished P16. He finished P7 in 2023.

#21 Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) has one win at Lusail, in Moto2™ in 2017 (his maiden GP win after qualifying on pole). His best MotoGP™ result here is P11 scored in 2019 and 2022.

#23 Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) has finished on the podium three times at Lusail, including a win: P2 in Moto3™ in 2015, P3 in Moto2™ in 2020 and his maiden win in MotoGP™ in 2022. He finished P8 in 2023 after he crashed in the opening lap of the Sprint following an incident involving Oliveira and Espargaro. He remounted his bike to finish P20.

#25 Raul Fernandez (Trackhouse Racing) has a best result of P3 at Lusail, scored in Moto2™ in 2021/2 (his first Moto2™ podium on his second race in the class). His best MotoGP™ result here is P17 scored in 2023 after qualifying P9, his best qualifying result so far in the class.

#30 Takaaki Nakgami (Idemistu Honda LCR) has two podiums here: P3s in Moto2™ in 2013 (his maiden GP podium) and in 2017. In 2014 in, he crossed the line second in Moto2™ but was later DSQ’d for a technical infringement. His best MotoGP™ result here is P9 scored in 2019.

 #31 Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) has two podiums at Lusail in both Moto3™ races held here in 2021: P2 in 2021/1 on what was his first GP race and a win in 2021/2 after starting from pitlane (due to a penalty).

#33 Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) has finished on the podium twice at Lusail: P2s in Moto3™ in 2016 and in MotoGP™ in 2022, which is KTM’s best result at the track in the class.

#36 Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) has one win at Lusail, in Moto3™ in 2017 – the first of his 10 wins that season on his way to clinching the title. His best MotoGP™ result here is P4 scored in 2021/1.

#37 Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) has a best result of P4 at Lusail, scored in Moto2™ in 2022. He scored one point in his first MotoGP™ here in 2023, finishing P15.  

#41 Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing)’s best MotoGP™ result at Sepang is P4, scored in 2014 (with Forward Yamaha) and in 2022 (which is Aprilia’s best result in the class at the track, equalled in 2023 by Viñales). In 2023, he crashed in the opening lap of the Sprint following an incident involving Oliveira and Bastianini. He remounted his bike before retiring.

#42 Alex Rins (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Team)’s only podium in Qatar is P3 in Moto3™ in 2013. He qualified on pole in Moto3™ in 2014. His best MotoGP™ result here is P4 scored in 2019 and in 2021/2 (with Suzuki).

#43 Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) has one win at Lusail in Moto3™ in 2014, which was his first ever GP victory. His best MotoGP™ result here is P8 scored in 2017 (with Honda).

#49 Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) has two podiums at Lusail, including his maiden MotoGP™ win in 2023 following a great battle with Bagnaia. He also qualified second for his second-best qualifying result in MotoGP™ after Italy in 2022 when he qualified on pole. His other podium here is P2 in Moto2™ in 2021/1. In 2023, he took his only Sprint podium so far finishing P2.

#72 Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team) has a best result of P4 at Lusail, scored in both Moto2™ races held at the track in 2021. The best result of his two MotoGP™ race here is P13 in 2023.

#73 Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) has finished on the podium in Lusail twice: P2 in Moto3™ on his way to clinching the title in 2014, and P3 in 2018 in Moto2™ (from pole). He scored points only once over his four visits here in MotoGP™, finishing P6 in 2023.

#88 Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing)’s best result here is P4, taken in Moto3™ in 2014 and in Moto2™ in 2017. His best MotoGP™ result is P13 taken in 2021/1 (with KTM). In 2019, he stalled on the grid before the Warm Up lap of his first MotoGP™ race, had to start from the back and eventually finished P17. He missed the GP race in 2023 following an incident in the Sprint with A. Espargaro and Bastianini and breaking his scapula.

#89 Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) has three podiums here: P3 in Moto3™ in 2017 (from pole), a win in Moto3™ in 2018, and P3 in MotoGP™ in 2021/2, his second race in the premier class. The only riders ahead of Martin who took podiums on their MotoGP™ debut are Marc Marquez (third, 2013), Jorge Lorenzo (second, 2008) and Dani Pedrosa (second, 2006). Martin also qualified on pole for the 2021 Doha GP, becoming the first rookie to do it for his second MotoGP™ race since Marc Marquez in Austin in 2013. In 2022, he qualified on pole again, but dropped to eighth in the early stages of the race before being collected by Bagnaia at Turn 1 on Lap 12. In 2023, he took his eighth Sprint win, but finished P10 in the race after spinning from the rear at the start.

#93 Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) has won here twice, in Moto2™ in 2012 and in MotoGP™ in 2014 (from pole). His other five podiums are: P3 in 125cc in 2010 (from pole), P3 in MotoGP™ in 2013 for his maiden MotoGP™ podium on his premier class debut) and P3 in 2016… and second places in both 2018 and in 2019 after he was beaten by Andrea Dovizioso at the very last corner on both occasions.

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