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Randy De Puniet hoping to defend number one plate with LCR in 2004

Randy De Puniet hoping to defend number one plate with LCR in 2004

Randy De Puniet hoping to defend number one plate with LCR in 2004

Long regarded as one of the fastest but most unpredictable riders in the quarter-litre class, Randy de Puniet has come of age this season and has demonstrated the consistency and restraint necessary for a serious title bid. Eight podium finishes, including two victories, means he is now 28 points behind series leader Manuel Poggiali with four rounds remaining. The 22 year old believes he is still in with a shot at the title despite the points disadvantage, and has revealed that he has signed an option to stay with Lucio Cecchinello's LCR team for next season.

"The end's getting close now, there's only four races left, but there is still a lot to decide," says De Puniet. "I'm happy with my season, it's been good until now and I hope it can still get better by the end. There are four races, and I'll try and get the best result from each to be able to fight for the title.

"I've ridden better this year, just making one race mistake in the wet at Assen. All the rest I haven't crashed in a race, I've fallen a little in practice like everyone, but that's experience. I think that I can still go quick and stay on both wheels now.

"I don't think the championship will be decided before the end, but some riders will be eliminated first, I hope I can still be part of it. I think the title will go down to Valencia, maybe not between five, but maybe two or three riders. So I'll have to be well aware, and to get amongst those riders in Valencia to play for the championship.

"I don't think I'll go to MotoGP, in my contract clause, I had an option for another year with Lucio and that's been taken up so I'll stay with Lucio in 250 for 2004.

"I'm happy, this is my first year to be fighting for winning races, to be on the podium regularly. So that's how it's been a lot this year, and so from next year I'll go out to win the title from the start, so I'm really happy."

Check out this interview in its original French version, complete with some of the best video images of De Puniet's season, by clicking the link on the right of this page.

250cc, 2003

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