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De Puniet getting close to optimum

De Puniet getting close to optimum

Following ninth place in the Grand Prix of Japan the LCR Honda rider said he can feel himself returning “to my level”.

Randy de Puniet continued his path back to full fitness at Motegi on Sunday where he scored his best result since returning to action from his broken leg. It was the Frenchman’s fifth race since the injury he sustained in Germany back in July, and marked another significant step.

De Puniet started the race from seventh place on the grid after a solid qualifying session, and only a mistake when changing gear midway through the 24-lap contest cost him a higher finish.

“I’m a little bit disappointed because I was very fast during the first part of the race. I was very aggressive and I was part of a fight to be in the top five,” he said. “That was really good for me after all those difficult races. But I made a mistake, because with my leg I have some difficulty shifting gears, and after a few laps my leg started to tire and became slow to move. I made a mistake when shifting gears and I tried to shift down a gear but I was already in first so I went into neutral. So I ran wide and then came back, and I lost ten seconds. After that my level was not bad but not enough to catch the group.”

The feeling achieved on his RC212V machine during the weekend has given de Puniet further encouragement, and he continued: “I think I’m getting back at my level. Now I need to put everything together. I’m happy to be heading to Malaysia next week because I like this track and I think we are now heading in a good direction and that will be good for the last four races.”

He concluded: “This top-ten finish is mentally positive for me after the bad period I had after the injury. There’s still a lot to do but now I feel more confident ahead the rest of the season.”

MotoGP, 2010, GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Randy de Puniet, LCR Honda MotoGP

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