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De Puniet rues gear-change error

De Puniet rues gear-change error

When Kawasaki's French duo of Randy de Puniet and Olivier Jacque came out on top of the timesheet in the final free practice session in Jerez yesterday the potential of the new Ninja ZX-RR was confirmed again on the eve of the competitive new 800cc era.

When Kawasaki's French duo of Randy de Puniet and Olivier Jacque came out on top of the timesheet in the final free practice session in Jerez yesterday the potential of the new Ninja ZX-RR was confirmed again on the eve of the competitive new 800cc era.

Indeed, De Puniet's 1'40.256 lap time, followed up by Jacque's marginally slower 1'40.541, gave Kawasaki a notable one-two in the last session of 2007 preseason testing and provided both riders with a useful psychological boost before the season proper commences in Qatar on March 10th.

Earlier in the afternoon De Puniet finished fifth in the annual 40-minute televised qualifying simulation, having consistently been in the top ten on the timesheet throughout the three-day Official Test sessions.

However, despite ending the timed shootout as the top Bridgestone rider, 26 year old De Puniet was convinced he would have gone faster had he not made a small error during the session. He explained: "I am a little bit upset, not with the position I got at the official practice, but with my lap time. I improved with every qualifying tyre I tried, but in my last lap I hit a false neutral in the gearbox and that lost me some time. It also started to rain, but I just closed my eyes and pushed hard until the end. I'm sure that without the mistake I would have been into the low 1'39s bracket."

However, in general the Kawasaki rider was pleased with the Jerez visit and is looking forward to the start of the World Championship in less than a fortnight, commenting: "Overall I am satisfied with the job we did during the session and these three days of testing. We made some changes to suspension settings and my feeling was much better this morning. Today the engine was smoother and this is important for race distance. I can't wait to arrive in Qatar for the first round."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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