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Randy de Puniet stays in touch

Randy de Puniet stays in touch

Randy de Puniet stays in touch

By clinching third at Estoril, Randy de Puniet reduced the gap on series leader Dani Pedrosa to 27 points. The Frenchman proved unable to keep up with the pace of race leaders Toni Elias and Sebas Porto, but managed to outscore Pedrosa by three points.

"The result is not so bad as Pedrosa finished the race behind me," commented de Puniet. "In the beginning I tried to follow Elias and Porto but their pace was better than mine and in the middle of the race I made a small mistake. I lost them so I only thought to maintain the third position."

In the late stages of the race, the Aprilia rider came under pressure as his Honda counterpart charged for the podium. "In the last laps, Pedrosa was very fast trying to pass me in the final lap but I was able to close all the doors till the finishing line. This is an important result for the championship but we still have to work to be at 100% and fight for the victory again."

Team owner Lucio Cecchinello revealed that his rider wasn't at ease in Portugal, and stressed that finding a good set-up quickly would be the key to allowing de Puniet to express himself again.

"After the race, Randy was happy with the result, but he couldn't push as much as he wanted to, as the bike wasn't agile enough on corner entry," explained the Italian. "The team will look at the data to see what went wrong, so we can try and optimize the bike set-up in Japan."

250cc, 2004, GRANDE PREMIO MARLBORO DE PORTUGAL, Randy de Puniet

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