Assen MotoGP: Randy de Puniet shocked with fastest time

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Randy de Puniet admitted his brilliant MotoGP practice performance in Assen today was a ‘big surprise’ as he edged out title contenders Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo to claim the fastest time.

The French rider logged a best lap of 1.37.842 with just over one minute remaining to knock Italian Rossi off top spot by just 0.005s.

The LCR Honda rider, who has lost his prolific crasher reputation in 2009, said: “It has been a big surprise for me!

"In the beginning of the session I was not very comfortable as I started on the soft tyre and my front feeling was very bad. I had some movement and could not lap as I would like.

"Unfortunately the second bike set up was almost the same so we decided to go out on a harder front tyre.

"The feeling was much better but I made some small mistakes. I knew that my rhythm on this track could be faster and so I went back to the garage to swap on to the number one bike which was set–up like the test in Barcelona.

"Thanks to some quick adjustments on the chassis geometry and suspension settings I finally set the pace in the last five laps and this makes me very happy.

"However it is all very close up to the top so I need to stay focused”.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt