De Puniet positive despite weather

Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet is positive about his chances after a strong showing in today's practice sessions at Phillip Island

De Puniet positive despite weather

De Puniet rode a large number of laps on the same rear tyre in the afternoon and was happy with the pace he achieved, unfussed if he had to use today's set-up in the race if bad weather prevented him making improvements tomorrow.

He also felt that a new tyre would have given him a significant time gain.

"I rode about 15 consecutive laps on the same rear tyre this afternoon and my times were pretty good," said de Puniet, top five in both practice sessions.

"I'm in fifth position at the moment, which isn't bad but, with a new tyre, I feel I could improve by half a second straight away. The bike's feeling good.

"Today, we worked mostly on tyre choice because we never know what the conditions are going to be like here, which makes things quite difficult. However, if tomorrow is wet for qualifying, then we'll be prepared whatever the weather does on Sunday."

"We had a bit of movement in the rear tyre today but nothing too bad; every year we have this problem but we all have to deal with the same thing. The chassis feels okay: we tried some different settings, and I'm happy with it, but still, tomorrow we can improve the bike and the lap times, I'm sure."

His teammmate, Australian Anthony West, also had a good day's running, finishing in the top ten in both sessions. He was not quite as happy as de Puniet however, and felt that the cold and rainy weather played a part in his minor troubles today.

"We had some problems with the tyre spinning but I think it was just the cold track and there wasn't much we could do about that. Then we had that rain in the middle of the last session, as well as the rain this morning, so we've lost a bit of time to perfect our set up for the race, but I'm feeling good so far.

"Also, I've been taking it fairly steady, not pushing it 100 per cent yet, so I'm comfortable with times we're doing, considering I'm not on the limit.

"The wind's blowing us around on track quite a bit, so it's hard to judge the set up sometimes, but yeah, we're doing okay!"

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Series MotoGP
Author David Wright
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