MotoGP Sepang test: Randy de Puniet impresses on Honda with Ohlins suspension

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French rider Randy de Puniet continued his impressive early winter testing form in Sepang today as he ran his LCR Honda for the first time on Ohlins suspension.

  • Click here to read how Randy de Puniet did on day one in Sepang

The former Kawasaki rider posted the third best time in a mammoth 71-lap stint as he got to grips with Ohlins on the 2007 RC212V.

His best time was a 2.02.550, which came within a fraction of beating his best Malaysia MotoGP race lap when he finished fourth in last month’s Sepang race. That time was 0.5sec faster than he managed on the opening day when he was fastest.

He started the day with his LCR Honda equipped with Showa suspension, but posted his best time using Ohlins forks and rear shock. He clocked five laps in the 2min 2sec bracket in a six-lap run at the end of the day.

As well as adapting to the new suspension, with team boss Lucio Cecchinello successfully negotiating with HRC management to move from Showa, Randy de Puniet also ran 10 new rear tyres for Michelin this afternoon after spending his first two years in MotoGP on Bridgestone rubber.

“Ohlins has some good and bad points but at this moment the level is the same as Showa. I did about 30 laps with Ohlins and found a good setting like with Showa and it was interesting.

“Now we start to work and sure it will not be easy but not a bad start. I seem to have better braking stability but we can improve the rear shock. The base is not so bad,” said de Puniet.

Lucio Cecchinello’s squad have not been able to get a deal sorted in time for 2008 with Ohlins, so have purchased de Puniet’s equipment from the British-based Ilmor squad, who pulled out of the championship after just one race in 2007.

De Puniet’s crew chief and former Ohlins technician Christophe Bourguignon, who followed Randy de Puniet to LCR from Kawasaki, proposed the switch.

Hamish Jamieson, former factory Suzuki and Kawasaki crew chief, is currently acting as suspension technician, and he will decide on a whether to make a permanent return to MotoGP with LCR after the final 2007 test in Jerez later this month.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt