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De Puniet frustrated with tenth place

De Puniet frustrated with tenth place

At the start of his second season with the LCR Honda team Randy de Puniet was disappointed to finish in tenth place in Qatar having qualified seventh.

The Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar’s delayed conclusion on Monday brought frustration for Randy de Puniet who came home in tenth place, complaining of front end problems on his satellite Honda RC212V.

Returning to riding with Bridgestone tyres this season he perhaps needs to further acquaint himself with the new single tyre supplier era material but there were nonetheless some positives for the 28 year-old to take from round one in the desert.

De Puniet’s seventh place in qualifying was a good start and the race result was just the second time he has gone the full course at Qatar, after his ninth place in 2008, having crashed out on the first lap of the MotoGP race in 2006 and on lap eight in 2007.

Indeed one of De Puniet’s main objectives this season is simply to keep his bike upright and get regular point-scoring results for the LCR Honda team, following his costly and crash-filled 2008 campaign, so his manager Lucio Cecchinello will probably be relatively satisfied with the top ten finish in Monday’s re-scheduled race.

But for the rider himself the Losail International Circuit visit left him obviously disheartened having finished behind the likes of fellow Honda satellite rider Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini) and Ducati rookie Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing), both of whom started lower down the grid than the feisty Frenchman.

Looking back over the 22-lap contest De Puniet stated, “I am a bit disappointed because I expected a better result after my performances in the practice sessions. I made a good start and after that I thought that the race would be easy. But I started to suffer grip problems on my front tyre. It was a bit dangerous and did my best to manage the race like that.”

He continued, “It was strange because I didn’t have that sensation at all during the whole of the rest of weekend and it was like riding on a soft tyre. My target was the top ten but I could have got a better result in different conditions. Anyway we will analyse the data to be more competitive in Japan.”


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