RANDY DE PUNIET 8th QUICKEST AT QATAR GP OPENING DAY
Losail, 09 April: three weeks have passed since the MotoGP riders finished their pre-season preparation on track and tonight, at 22:30 local time, the premier class riders have joined the floodlit desert Losail circuit for
the first free practice of the 2010 championship opening round. For the third year in a row, the elite show on wheels gets started at the state-of-the-art race track outside the capital of Doha with the air temperature reaching 26 degrees in the first and only 60-minute night session.
The French racer Randy de Puniet has started his fifth season in the highest class and third with LCR Honda MotoGP Team taking encouragement from an off-season testing regimen that had the Frenchman improving his finishing position in each of the three 2010 tests. His best was eighth fastest, and second fastest Honda, in the final pre-season test in Qatar. De Puniet circulated the "desert" track 21 times in the first seasonal free practice clocking his best lap time of 1'57.031 and placing his Honda RC212V 8th in the timesheet.
Randy De Puniet -- 8th -- 1'57.031
De Puniet: "Following the good result we have achieved here less than three weeks ago we have decided to go immediately for a long run as we wanted to evaluate some traction control map for the end of the race. So I just came out and the feeling with the bike was good though the grip level was not as good as the test. Then we have continued making a 60-lap run on 1'57.0s which is quite good (almost half second faster than our lap time in the test). At the end we have compared the bikes to make sure that all is working well and we have got some data now to improve a little bit our engine management. We have kept the same set of tyres for the whole session so I am pretty sure if we have put a new set of tyres we could improve our lap time".