Cecchinello: ‘We have improved a lot’

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

LCR Honda have taken a step forward in 2009 thanks to the maturity and improved consistency of Randy de Puniet.

Reviewing the 2009 MotoGP World Championship thus far, LCR Honda boss Lucio Cecchinello has clear evidence of an improvement in performance level compared to 2008, thanks to Randy de Puniet’s significant step forward in terms of results.

Last year De Puniet amassed 61 points in 18 races, finishing 15th overall, whereas this year he has already managed to achieve a points total of 88 points in the 13 rounds which have taken place to date – putting him joint eighth in the standings despite a recent left ankle injury sustained during a summer motocross accident.

Inconveniently that training incident came just days after De Puniet had appeared on the podium for the first time since joining LCR at the beginning of 2008, but he has since hovered on the edge of the top ten as he overcomes the injury.

Nonetheless, Cecchinello told motogp.com, “Looking at our results compared to last year’s, it’s fair to say we have improved a lot. This year we were even able to reach the podium and do some top five results, which is great for a team like ours. Of course, in the last few races we were unlucky with Randy’s results and at Misano again he was forced off the track by Alex de Angelis and came back on the track last.”

“In general we’re happy though. The one tyre rule works, we agreed with it and I think it’s a positive development for the World Championship. Talking about Randy, we saw that he’s improved a lot compared to last year and also appears much more mature, so we’re definitely keen to continue with him next year.”

On the obvious highlight for the team this year up until now, the Italian manager stated, “For sure, the podium in Donington was the best moment of the season so far, getting third place there was really great for us and even if the conditions were special with the rain, it was like a dream made true.”

Previewing the conclusion of the 2009 season, Cecchinello commented, “For the last four races, we have to be realistic because the top five riders are very strong and have very good bikes. Behind them there are also talented guys such as Colin Edwards, Marco Melandri and Loris Capirossi but I’m sure we can fight with them so we can be in the top seven or top eight of the championship.”

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