With the addition of former 125cc world champion Gabor Talmacsi to the premier-class grid the depth of talent in the MotoGP field continues to grow - while the three-way tie at the top is unprecedented.
The starting line-up for the MotoGP race last time out in Catalunya was the strongest ever assembled in the 61 year history of grand prix racing, in terms of world titles and race wins:
• Of the 19 riders present on the MotoGP grid, nine have been grand prix world champions in at least one of the three classes.
• Those nine riders have won a total of 21 world championship titles in grand prix racing.
• 16 of the riders on the MotoGP grid have won grand prix races in either 125, 250 or MotoGP.
• The three riders who have not won grand prix races are Colin Edwards, James Toseland and Niccolo Canepa. Edwards and Toseland are double World Superbike champions while Canepa, the youngest rider on the grid, is a former FIM Superstock 1000 champion.
• The number of accumulated grand prix victories by the 16 riders is 288 - never before in the history of grand prix racing has a grid of riders had such a high number of accumulated victories.
Following the Catalan Grand Prix, three riders - Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner - now share the MotoGP championship lead with 106 points each. Never before has there been a three-way tie at the top of the championship table after six races.
Since the current point scoring system was introduced in 1993, the closest previous title race in the premier-class after six races was in 1998 when the top three riders were separated by just eight points; Alex Criville - 103, Max Biaggi - 98 and Carlos Checa - 95, with eventual championship winner Mick Doohan trailing in fourth place on 90 points.
Meanwhile, Rossi's winning margin of 0.095sec over team-mate Lorenzo in Catalunya was the smallest in the MotoGP class since Stoner beat Rossi at the same circuit in 2007 by just 0.069sec.
Rossi's last lap victory was the first since Toni Elias at Estoril in 2006.