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De Puniet lands MotoGP ride with Kawasaki

De Puniet lands MotoGP ride with Kawasaki

De Puniet lands MotoGP ride with Kawasaki

Randy de Puniet will step up to the MotoGP World Championship in 2006 with the Kawasaki Racing Team after agreeing terms with the Japanese factory squad at Phillip Island this weekend. De Puniet will race an all-new model of the 990cc Ninja ZX-RR, which is currently under development in Japan.

24-year-old de Puniet is one of the emerging young stars of the 250cc category and his elevation to the MotoGP ranks strengthens the Kawasaki Racing Team as they enter their fourth full season in MotoGP category. De Puniet will make his debut on the Ninja ZX-RR at the official test session following the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix in November.

"Moving up to MotoGP with Kawasaki is a fantastic opportunity for me; it's like a dream come true," said the Frenchman, a five time 250cc GP winner. "I know it's not going to be easy next year, a MotoGP machine is very different to the 250cc two-stroke bikes that I'm used to, but I'm very much looking forward to the challenge ahead. I know I'm facing a steep learning curve next year, but I think that working with such an experienced team will help a lot during my debut MotoGP season. It's difficult to say what I can expect in terms of results as I have not ridden the bike yet, I will have a better understanding of my potential after the Valencia test. I hope that during my debut year I will be able to get closer and closer to the front runners as the year progresses."

Kawasaki Racing team manager Harald Eckl commented: "With Randy we have a young, up and coming rider who has already proved his potential with race wins and podiums in the 250cc World Championship, which is always ultra-competitive. He faces a steep learning curve next season, but I know that he will work hard to make the most of this opportunity with Kawasaki. It will be a challenge for the team to get Randy up to speed quickly on the Ninja ZX-RR, but I have every confidence, both in him as a rider, and also in the team he will be working with."

MotoGP, 2005, POLINI AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Kawasaki Racing Team

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