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Kawasaki ready for grand finale

Kawasaki ready for grand finale

Things are now very different for Kawasaki than they were this time last year. ‘Team Green' have a new rider lineup, a new team setup and a bike that was little more than a series of blueprints at the conclusion of the 2006 season.

Things are now very different for Kawasaki than they were this time last year. ‘Team Green' have a new rider lineup, a new team setup and a bike that was little more than a series of blueprints at the conclusion of the 2006 season. Now they ready themselves for another change, with rider Randy de Puniet bringing to a close his two-year stay with the team at Valencia.

The Frenchman has been in good form as of late, with his first MotoGP podium at Motegi an obvious high point. De Puniet is looking to go out in style at the Spanish track, ideally on the rostrum for the second time in his career.

"Valencia is a small track but, even though I usually prefer the faster circuits, I'm quite fond of it," says the soon-to-be LCR Honda man. "When I rode in 250cc, I won there and also got a third, so the place has been good to me!"

"It's difficult to maintain a strong, fast level there so it's imperative to maintain maximum concentration. If you can ride without any mistakes, you can do well. I'm feeling good after the last three races, which gave me two top six finishes and a podium, so I'm hoping I can get a good result in Spain, especially as it's the last race of the season and my last race for Kawasaki."

"I've been with them for two years and have many good memories and I'd like to get another podium before I leave. The bike's working so well now, but we'll have to see what happens at the weekend."

Team-mate Anthony West will be staying on with Kawasaki next year, and has shone since being drafted into the team for the British Grand Prix at Donington Park. The Australian will partner John Hopkins next year, and will have a chance to undertake a full preseason for the first time in his MotoGP career.

"The circuit itself is pretty tight, and it's hard to really open bigger bikes up there, but it's a great challenge. Some sections involve a lot of hard acceleration and braking, with lots of tight hairpins that close back up on themselves. But it's a nice track to ride, you can see the whole of it from the pits: it's a bit like a go-kart track!" says the 26 year-old, before referencing the embarrassing mistake on the grid at Sepang which cost him a potential top six finish.

"Anyway, I hope to do well there, qualify as well as I did at Sepang but not make any stupid mistakes this time. I want to get a good result to round off the season, if I can."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Kawasaki Racing Team

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