Capirossi fired up for 300th start

Loris Capirossi will make history at this weekend's Qatar Grand Prix, where the veteran rider will take part in his 300th race

Capirossi fired up for 300th start

"I never thought I would get to this many, but I have been lucky in my career and I have always given 100% and kept myself fit so that I have been able to stay at the top," said Capirossi, who already holds the record for the most starts of any rider in the history of motorcycle racing.

"I never really think about how many races I have been in, but this number is very special and I guess it will probably never happen for another rider.

"Anyway, once the race has started my attitude will be the same as it was in 1990 - full gas and full attack! The race for the team is also important because we have to continue with the improvements and good direction that we found at the Qatar test last month.

"I know we have some work to do, but we are very close now and all the guys in the team and back in Japan have worked really hard. I hope we can challenge the fast guys more consistently this year," he added.

In contrast, Suzuki team-mate Alvaro Bautista will be competing in his first MotoGP race after graduating from the 250cc category.

The Spanish rider admitted he can't wait to go racing.

"For me this is a very important weekend because it will be my first race in MotoGP," he said. "I have done OK in testing, but racing is a different thing. I still have very much to learn about the bike and about MotoGP because it is so different from 250, so I must keep focussed and take everything as it comes.

"A target for this year would be to be rookie of the year, but that will be difficult because there are so many good riders and the racing will be close. I must learn step-by-step and not do anything stupid in the early races. I am really excited about my debut for Rizla Suzuki and just can't wait to get racing!"

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