He has won three times from eleventh on the grid
With the MotoGP ‘pole jinx' extended to eleven races without a winner from the head of the starting grid –the longest ever sequence in premier class history- it is well established that race winners can come from somewhere
other than pole position.
However, Valentino Rossi's latest victory at Assen last weekend is still something of a trend-bucker, coming from the lowly position of eleventh.
So far this season, only three wins have come from the front row. Casey Stoner's season-opening triumph in Qatar was taken from second, followed by Valentino Rossi's Jerez victory from the same position and a third place start for the Italian at his home race at Mugello.
The same number of wins have come from the head of the second row, all courtesy of World Championship leader Stoner. The Australian also took victory from fifth at Donington Park, his joint lowest qualifying performance alongside that of Turkey.
Before Rossi's fourth row success last Saturday, only Chris Vermeulen had been on the top step after starting from lower than the second row on 2007. These two results are very much the exception to the established trend in MotoGP, with only 12 races out of 454 since the 1975 season having been won by a rider qualifying outside the top ten.
For Rossi, his most recent result is not uncharted territory.
He has won three times from eleventh on the grid: at the 2001 British Grand Prix at Donington Park, last year's German Grand Prix at Sachsenring, and now Assen 2007.
‘The Doctor' is the rider to have made the most appearances in the winners' records after starting from behind the leading ten, joined only by Norick Abe on the list of riders to achieve the feat on more than one occasion.
DORNA / CAPSIS International