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99 – Spain have taken 99 victories in the intermediate-class of Grand Prix racing. Eighty five of these wins have been in the 250cc class and fourteen in Moto2.

38 – Great rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa have both won 38 Grand Prix races across all three classes.

25 – Julian Simon celebrates his 25th birthday on the Tuesday before the Qatar Grand Prix weekend.

19 – Czech Moto3 rider Jakub Kornfeil celebrates his 19th birthday on the Sunday at the Qatar Grand Prix.

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After months of anticipation MotoGP™ riders, teams, fans and spectators around the world will finally have their appetites for action satisfied, when the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar gets the 2012 MotoGP™ World Championship off to a start on Thursday. The first practice sessions of the opening round of the new campaign will bring to an end a lengthy 152-day wait since the final race of the 2011 season in Valencia last November, after an intriguing pre-season which has added to the impatience for the racing to begin.

Two major developments in the premier class which have added to the excitement at the dawn of a new era in MotoGP™ are the introduction of a new 1000cc engine capacity limit, up from the previous 800cc cap,  and the debut of the new Claiming Rule Teams, for whom nine of the 21 riders will compete.

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Posted on April 3rd, 2012 at 7:15 am

A new era begins at the 2012 Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar with the debut of Moto3™, the 250cc four-stroke bikes brought in to replace the former 125cc machines which had been a part of the World Championship since its beginnings in 1949. The pre-season has hinted at an exciting new generation of machinery and an intense level of competition, with 32 riders competing for the honour of being crowned the first-ever Moto3™ World Champion.

A core of riders will be labelled as favourites following their exploits in both the 125s and pre-season, with the likes of Maverick Viñales (Blusens Avintia), Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Héctor Faubel (Bankia Aspar) being three such names. All Grand Prix winners, the trio will be accompanied by a number of promising talents in trying to start the season with a strong result in Qatar.

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