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De Puniet springs surprise in opening MotoGP Assen session

De Puniet springs surprise in opening MotoGP Assen session

Frenchman shocks with late 1’37.842 lap in first run-out for the Alice TT Assen.

LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet sprang a surprise in the first MotoGP practice session for the Alice TT Assen, occupying the top spot on the timesheet with a 1’37.842 lap that came from out of nowhere late in the session.

For the majority of the hour-long run, Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo had resumed their inter-team tussle by trading fastest laps, but eventually the duo were usurped by flying Frenchman De Puniet and then Lorenzo by Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner –the rider with whom the leaders are tied on 106 points in the overall classification.

Just five-thousandths of a second divided De Puniet and Rossi, with Stoner a further three-hundredths down and Lorenzo only just unable to breach the 1’38 barrier. Trailing the early pacesetters were Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso & Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards, all under half-a-second down on De Puniet.

Adjusting to the track in the first practice run, many riders took a trip into the run-off areas in their quest to find the limit of their 800cc machinery. However, only one rider came off his bike, namely Scot Racing’s Yuki Takahashi. The Japanese rider suffered a highside that left him shaken but apparently uninjured.


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