Assen MotoGP: Poor start costs Randy de Puniet

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A shocking start to Saturday’s Dutch MotoGP race at the iconic Assen circuit cost Randy de Puniet hopes of a season best finish.

The LCR Honda rider had qualified in second place on the grid for the second race in a row but an awful start to the 26-lap race that dropped him back to sixth place.

He recovered to get involved into a thrilling dice for fifth place with Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso

The Frenchman took fifth from the Italian on lap 18 but Dovizioso retaliated on the penultimate lap after both had unsuccessfully attempted to chase down a hard charging Ben Spies.

The former factory Kawasaki rider tried one last-ditch effort at the final chicane on the last lap.

He managed to get his satellite Honda RC212V underneath Dovizioso with a brave move on the brakes.

But he’d run in too hot and couldn’t stay on line to allow Dovizioso to sweep back by.
It was the fourth time in six races that de Puniet has finished sixth and he said: “I took a bad a start from the second spot because I let the clutch out too quickly.

"That made me have a big wheelie but after that I overtook many riders in the first lap. Unfortunately I had some issues on the front tyre at the beginning of the race so I decided to change my riding style a little bit to keep the pace.

"Then in the middle of the race I caught Dovizioso and Spies and it was a close battle and I had fun. In the last lap I tried to overtake Dovi again but went too wide in the last corner.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt