This Sunday at Jerez should see Valentino Rossi
become only the third person in motorcycle grand prix history to clock 200 premier-class starts.
A former 125 and 250cc world champion, Rossi made his premier-class debut in the opening 500cc race of the 2000 season at Welkom in South Africa. He has since won seven titles and a record 79 races.
This year is Rossi's 13th in the premier-class and, although without a win since leaving Yamaha for Ducati at the end of 2010, the Italian still has the fifth longest winning career.
A gap of 10 years and 93 days separates his first victory in the 500cc class at Donington Park in 2000 and his most recent MotoGP win in Malaysia 2010.
Alex Barros, Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini
and Loris Capirossi
had longer winning careers in the premier-class, but if Rossi (33) takes another victory he would set a new record.
The following table shows the ten riders who have made most premier-class (500cc/MotoGP) starts:
1. Alex Barros
2. Loris Capirossi
3. Valentino Rossi
4. Carlos Checa 194
5. Kenny Roberts
6. Sete Gibernau
7. Jack Findlay 157
8. Colin Edwards
9. Nicky Hayden
10. Randy Mamola 145
* Racing in MotoGP 2012.