Tough battle ahead of de Puniet

Tough battle ahead of de Puniet

15 September 2007 – Randy de Puniet was left disappointed with his final grid positions for tomorrow's Portuguese Grand Prix, after the Kawasaki rider struggled to find his form during this afternoon's qualifying session at Estoril.

De Puniet had problems during qualifying today. After finding a good set-up on his Ninja ZX-RR during free practice yesterday, the 26-year-old Frenchman looked all set to secure a top ten start during qualifying this afternoon, until a crash with just five minutes of the session remaining brought his second flying lap to a premature conclusion.

Racing back to the pit box and jumping on his number two bike, de Puniet headed out on his final qualifying tyre, but was unable to improve on his previous best lap time after struggling to regain his rhythm. As a result, the Frenchman will start tomorrow's race from 18th position, and the sixth row of the grid.

Randy de Puniet commented on his 18th position at he grid: "We've done some good lap times today on race tyres while evaluating lots of different settings as well as some alternative tyre compounds. Unfortunately, with the first set of qualifiers there were a couple of riders on the racing line and I got held up. With the second set, I crashed when I lost the front at turn four: a very tight left-hander. After that, I restarted with my spare bike but the feeling wasn't so good so I didn't improve my lap time. I'm not happy about my qualifying position but all the experimenting we've done has been very helpful and we can work with the information we've collected to ensure we can make up time tomorrow."

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