Catalunya MotoGP: Randy de Puniet plays down podium hopes

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Randy de Puniet reckons he’s only get a slender chance of causing an upset in tomorrow’s Catalunya MotoGP race as he targets a first podium finish of 2010.

The former factory Kawasaki rider is currently in a rich vein of form and he qualified on the front row of the grid for the third successive race today.

A best lap of 1.42.512 bumped home hero Dani Pedrosa back into fourth spot with only Jorge Lorenzo’s Fiat Yamaha YZR-M1 and Casey Stoner’s factory Ducati GP10 finishing ahead of de Puniet.

Using a new chassis and swingarm upgrade from HRC for this weekend, de Puniet was cautious on talking up his rostrum prospects. 

“Jorge, Casey and Dani are very fast but I think I have a small chance to be on the podium tomorrow. I will try and do my best but we will see. I need to finish the race and in the best place as possible.

"But I think I can do my best result of the year, “said the LCR Honda rider, who is currently the leading non-factory rider in 2010."

The Frenchman was able to reel off a series off consistent laps in the 1.42 bracket despite the scorching hot conditions that saw track temperature hit well over 50 degrees.

But de Puniet was able to set a fast pace on the hard and soft compound Bridgestone rear tyre and he said: “The last three races I have been very good in qualifying and the races have not been so bad. I am very confident because yesterday it was not so bad but I had a lot of problems with edge grip and traction.

"This afternoon we found a good solution and it was very good because I used a hard tyre and I was very fast. The tyre was very consistent and I was surprised because I had the same feeling as this morning with not so much movement and some good grip. That’s why I’m confident for tomorrow.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt