Back in front: Rossi first led across the start/finish line of a 2008 MotoGP race on lap 5 of the Qatar season opener. It was the first time Rossi had led a MotoGP race with Bridgestone tyres. Rossi's first Bridgestone podium came at round two and first win at round four.

Slow starter: Rossi's average position at the end of lap 1 of a race was 5th. Rossi only led at the end of the first lap once (Laguna Seca) and his worst race start was at Assen, where a lap one accident left him 14th and last. On average, Rossi lost one place on the opening lap of each race.

Biggest fightback: Rossi's biggest fightback was at Phillip Island, where he qualified 12th and finished lap one in 8th position, before rising to 2nd by the finish.

When to lead: Rossi 'only' led 170 of the 465 race laps this season (37%). The latest Rossi took the race lead was lap 14 of 20 at Indianapolis.

Dry and wet: Of Rossi's nine race wins 8 were in the dry and 1 (Indianapolis) in the wet.

Streaks: Rossi longest winning streak was 5 races (Laguna Seca to Motegi) and his longest podium streak was 9 races (Sachsenring to Valencia).

Qualifying: Rossi's average qualifying position for a race was 4th. He qualified on pole just 2 times with his worst qualifying sessions at Phillip Island (12th) and Valencia (10th). On average, Rossi qualified 0.659sec behind pole.

Ready to race: Rossi's average finishing positioning in a race was 2nd, two places higher than his average starting position.

Getting stronger: Rossi scored 167 points during the first nine rounds, but 206 during the last nine.

First half vs second:First nine rounds: 3 (wins), 7 (podiums), 1 (pole), 2 (fastest laps)Last nine rounds: 6 (wins), 9 (podiums), 1 (pole), 3 (fastest laps).

Winning big, losing bigger: Rossi's average race-winning margin was 6.020sec, but when he lost his average margin of defeat was 11.771sec.

Biggest and closest: Rossi's biggest race win was by 15.004sec over Toni Elias at Brno and his closest was by 1.943sec over Casey Stoner at Motegi.

When to push: Rossi only set 5 fastest laps this season. His average fastest lap ranking in a race was 2nd and the average location of his fastest lap was at 39.3% race distance. The earliest Rossi delivered his fastest race lap was on lap 2 (of 21) at Sepang and the latest lap 18 (of 22) at Shanghai.

Straight line speed: Rossi's average top speed ranking over a grand prix weekend during the 2008 season was 6th. Rossi didn't set the highest top speed at any of the 18 rounds, with his best top speed ranking being 3rd (three times) and his lowest 10th (Motegi).

Rivals getting faster? On average, Rossi was ranked 5th in terms of weekend top speed during the first half of the 2008 season, but slipped to an average of 7th during the second half, suggesting rival machines made greater gains as the year went on.

Yamaha vs. Yamaha: Rossi was the top qualifying Yamaha rider at only 8 rounds, but finished as the top Yamaha race rider at 15 of the 18 rounds. Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was the highest placed Yamaha rider at Qatar and Estoril, with Tech 3's Colin Edwards leading the M1 challenge at Assen.

Bridgestone vs. Bridgestone: Rossi was the top qualifying Bridgestone rider at 5 rounds and was the top Bridgestone race rider at 12 of the 18 rounds.

Races to spare: Rossi's end of season championship winning margin was 93 points over Casey Stoner, equivalent to nearly four race wins.

For comparison, Rossi won the 2005 title by 147 points (over Marco Melandri), the 2004 title by 47 points (over Sete Gibernau), the 2003 title by 80 points (over Sete Gibernau), the 2002 title by 140 points (over Max Biaggi) and the 2001 title by 106 points (over Max Biaggi).

Six to one: Rossi's record breaking 373 points was more than the combined total of the lowest six (full time) riders in the 2008 world championship - Sylvain Guintoli (67), Alex de Angelis (63), Randy de Puniet (61), John Hopkins (57), Marco Melandri (51) and Anthony West (50).

Points mean prizes: Rossi was the only rider to score points in every race this season. Andrea Dovizioso, Shinya Nakano and Sylvain Guintoli scored points in all but one round.

One man band? Rossi contributed 341 points to Yamaha's 2008 constructors' championship total of 402 and his 373 riders' points made up the majority of Fiat Yamaha's teams' championship total of 563.

Using only Rossi's points, Yamaha would still have won the constructors' championship, by 52 points over Ducati, while Fiat Yamaha would have finished second (just 31 points behind Repsol Honda) in the teams' title!

This year and last: 2008: 9 (wins), 16 (podiums), 2 (poles), 5 (fastest laps), 373 (points), 1st (championship).2007: 4 (wins), 8 (podiums), 4 (poles), 3 (fastest laps), 241 (points), 3rd (championship).



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