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De Puniet leads CRT pack at Le Mans

De Puniet leads CRT pack at Le Mans

The Power Electronics Aspar Team continued their dominance of the CRT era on the opening day of the fourth round of the season at Le Mans, where Randy de Puniet was the fastest rider on the new machines.

His teammate Aleix Espargaró had to cope with the double setback of two crashes, one in each of today's two free practice sessions, that saw him head to the Clinica Mobile with a headache at the end of the afternoon.

De Puniet, who is also struggling for fitness after injuring his back and ribs in Portugal two weeks ago, did not let his physical problems hold him back in front of his passionate home fans. The Frenchman was 13th fastest with almost a second advantage over his closest CRT rival although he is keen to improve his bike further, in particular in corner exit, ahead of Sunday's race. Aleix hit the ground hard this morning when his rear wheel locked under braking, potentially due to a problem with the engine braking system, before losing the front in what he admitted was a loss of concentration this afternoon.

13th Randy de Puniet

"It hasn't been a bad day and we've been fortunate that it didn't rain. We made some changes to the electronics and suspension and even though I am not 100% I am the fastest CRT. I did a run of six laps and my times were consistent. On my best lap I lost half a second because of a slower rider but our biggest problem right now is not with the bike it is with my condition, which will be difficult to improve. I didn't have any injections today because I wanted to see how my body handled it and hopefully I'll be able to hang on until the race."

17th Aleix Espargaró

"We have started out on the wrong foot here, with a crash this morning that left me with a sore head and that contributed to me losing my concentration this afternoon. In the end I crashed again and now I need to get some rest and some good sleep tonight to recover. We made a mistake this morning by running the harder tyre when the track was still cold and it's a shame because other than the two crashes I was riding well and could have improved my lap times. If it is dry tomorrow I should be close because with the new front tyre I'm always quicker."

Press release courtesy of Power Electronics Aspar Team.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2012, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Aleix Espargaro, Randy de Puniet, Power Electronics Aspar

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