Catalunya MotoGP: Randy de Puniet delighted with fourth

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Randy de Puniet’s fantastic 2010 MotoGP campaign continued in brilliant fashion at the Catalunya circuit.

The French rider scored his best result of the season with a deserved but lonely fourth place to notch his highest finish since he was third at the British Grand Prix 11 months ago.

Using a new stiffer chassis on his LCR Honda machine in the seventh race of 2010, de Puniet was unable to match the blistering pace set by Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner in the early stages.

Stoner’s blunder at the first corner under hard braking on lap six saw de Puniet maintain fourth after he’d been overtaken by a hard charging Dani Pedrosa on the factory Honda RC212V. 

He was then relegated back to fifth when Stoner came back by on lap nine but he was easily able to better his best result of the season when Italian Dovizioso crashed out of second on lap 15.

The 29-year-old maintained his place as the leading non-factory rider in the overall standings and is now joint fourth with American Nicky Hayden on 69-points.

Having scored his fifth top six finish in the opening seven races, he said: “We decided to go with the harder rear tyre and I struggled a bit with edge-grip in the beginning. I got a bad start from the front row but immediately pushed to catch the three riders in front and after that my race pace was exactly what we were expecting.

"So I took the fourth position and decided to keep my rhythm until the end as I could easily control the gap to the other riders. (Marco) Simoncelli tried to catch me but he made a mistake and crashed out.

"I knew I could get my best result of the season here and this fourth place is simply fantastic for me and the team.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt