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Day of mixed fortunes for Kawasaki Racing

Day of mixed fortunes for Kawasaki Racing

Kawasaki Racing had an eventful time on day two of the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya with a superb performance from the injured Randy de Puniet securing his first MotoGP front row start, after team-mate Olivier Jacque was ruled out of the Grand Prix following a morning crash.

Kawasaki Racing had an eventful time on day two of the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya with a superb performance from the injured Randy de Puniet securing his first MotoGP front row start, after team-mate Olivier Jacque was ruled out of the Grand Prix following a morning crash.

De Puniet put in a brave performance during Saturday mornings third free practice session, riding as if his swollen left knee, the result of a crash last week at Mugello, was not affecting him. He cut more than a second from his previous best time around the circuit as the second fastest rider of the session.

The Frenchman was riding his Ninja ZX-RR in considerable pain but went on to repeat his heroics in the afternoons qualifying session. Only a new circuit best lap of 141.855 from seven time former World Champion, Valentino Rossi, prevented the Kawasaki rider from taking pole by 0.061s.

Meanwhile, it was a completely different story for De Puniets Kawasaki colleague Jacque, as the 33-year-old former 250cc World Champion suffered a highside crash in free practice and was carried away on a stretcher.

Following initial assessment at Clinica Mobile, Jacque was placed in a neck brace and taken to a nearby hospital in Barcelona for further evaluation meaning he was unable to qualify for Sundays race. It is another blow to the experienced Frenchman who has finished just three races this year and only last week made a comeback at Mugello after an accident in Shanghai early in May.

Kawasakis Competition Manager, Michael Bartholemy commented: ´We could see Randy was suffering with his injured knee, despite the fact that he´s not complained once about what must be causing him some pain on the bike. But then he goes and puts in a fantastic lap this afternoon to take his first front row start in MotoGP, missing out on pole by the narrowest of margins.´

´Unfortunately, Olivier crashed this morning and took a big knock on the head, which required a trip to the circuit medical centre, where medical staff sent him to hospital in Barcelona for x-rays. We are now awaiting the results and should have more news shortly.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMI CINZANO DE CATALUNYA, Kawasaki Racing Team

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