De Puniet doing well in Japan

De Puniet doing well in Japan

21 September 2007 – The A-Style Grand Prix of Japan started well for the Kawasaki Racing Team today as Randy de Puniet, Anthony West and Akira Yanagawa mounted their Ninja ZX-RR machines and took to the circuit at Motegi.

De Puniet showed he was on form by ending the first two free practices in second place, on combined times, after putting in blistering performances in both the morning and afternoon sessions. With a best time of 1'48.254 at the end of the day, he knocked nearly half a second off his previous best, assisted by a lightning top speed of 284.8kmh.

The 26-year-old Frenchman is determined to do well this weekend after a hugely disappointing Portuguese Grand Prix last week saw him retire with a mechanical problem. Happy with the progress made in setting up the bike so far, and riding at a scorching pace throughout the day, de Puniet is very much on course for the podium spot which, so far this season, has eluded him.

Team mate, West, started the day in less positive fashion, still unable to find enough grip to give him the confidence to fulfil his and the bike's potential. However, by the end of the afternoon session, the 26-year-old Australian was smiling as his best time of 1'48.529 put him in eighth position, just 0.030 seconds behind last year's winner at Motegi, Loris Capirossi, and ahead of current world champion, Nicky Hayden. Assorted suspension tweaks and some successful choices of Bridgestone tyres seemed to have done the job in helping West feel more at home on the Ninja than he has at previous rounds.

Meanwhile, wild card rider for the Japanese race, Akira Yanagawa, put in 28 laps over the two sessions on his ZX-RR and managed 19th place on the provisional grid. Stunned by the 800cc bike's light weight and staggering power, the 36-year-old Japanese superbike rider struggled slightly to find a set up to suit his riding style but, with his dedicated crew and the back up of the factory team, he is confident he can fine tune the Ninja to his needs by the start of Sunday's 24-lap race.

It was a boiling hot day at Motegi, with temperatures reaching 34°C and the track temperature 46°C this afternoon. With the weather set to continue in this vein for the coming weekend, and the top 15 riders within a second of provisional pole man, Dani Pedrosa, it looks as if Sunday's race could be a sizzling spectacle indeed.

Randy de Puniet said about his day: "That wasn't a bad day! This morning we worked on the settings on the bike and this afternoon we tried a harder compound tyre, which was better for longevity because I did 20 laps on it and my time at the end of the session was still very good. We can improve a few bits and pieces, including adjusting the rear suspension slightly and perhaps working with a different rear tyre, but already, it's pretty good and I'm happy."

Anthony West said: "This morning I didn't feel so confident but all of a sudden, this afternoon, everything felt good on the bike. I struggled in the first session with rear grip, just spinning and sliding everywhere, then this afternoon it was so different: just from better grip I could get more of a lean angle in the corners and choose better lines. Essentially, I simply felt more comfortable on the bike. It was actually a heap easier to ride and go faster. In one corner, I even got my elbow on the ground once or twice and I've never had that before! It was all a big improvement and the times show that."

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Thursday 11 February 2016

  2. Miller to return to action at Phillip Island 10:12

    Miller to return to action at Phillip Island

    Jack Miller will return to action at next week's Phillip Island pre-season test, Marc VDS has confirmed. Miller, who has…

    MotoGP
  3. Ocon lands Mercedes DTM seat for 2016 09:35

    Ocon lands Mercedes DTM seat for 2016

    GP3 champion Esteban Ocon will contest the DTM in 2016, after landing a seat at Mercedes. Ocon, 19, combined his GP3 duties…

    DTM
  4. Wehrlein wants 'really good' team-mate 09:27

    Wehrlein wants 'really good' team-mate

    Pascal Wehrlein says he hopes that Manor will place a competitive driver alongside him for the 2016 season, as discussions…

    F1
  5. Moreno joins Aguri as reserve driver 09:18

    Moreno joins Aguri as reserve driver

    Ecuadorian racer Julio Moreno has joined Team Aguri as its Formula E reserve driver. Moreno, 20, last year contested FIA…

    FE
  6. MotoGP publishes final 2016 calendar 09:09

    MotoGP publishes final 2016 calendar

    MotoGP organisers have issued a final version of the 2016 calendar, with the Jerez and Brno rounds now fully confirmed, after…

    MotoGP
  7. Video of the Day: Drivers on Phoenix return 05:23

    Video of the Day: Drivers on Phoenix return

    Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya reflect on their recent test session at the Phoenix International…

    Indy
  8. Wednesday 10 February 2016

  9. Wehrlein to use number 94 in Formula 1 14:32

    Wehrlein to use number 94 in Formula 1

    Manor's Pascal Wehrlein will use #94 as his permanent race number in Formula 1. Wehrlein, whose Formula 1 graduation was…

    F1
  10. Background: Who is Pascal Wehrlein? 13:28

    Background: Who is Pascal Wehrlein?

    Pascal Wehrlein becomes the second rookie on the Formula 1 grid for the 2016 season after confirmation of his deal with Manor…

    F1
  11. Manor tips Wehrlein to make 'big impact' 11:35

    Manor tips Wehrlein to make 'big impact'

    Pascal Wehrlein has the talent to make a "big impact" with Manor Racing during his debut season in Formula 1, according to the…

    F1
  12. Manor confirms Wehrlein for 2016 season 11:11

    Manor confirms Wehrlein for 2016 season

    Manor Racing has confirmed that DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein will make his Formula 1 debut with the squad in 2016, meaning…

    F1
  13. Video: Red Bull drivers spur a stampede 10:06

    Video: Red Bull drivers spur a stampede

    Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat spur a stampede in this video for clothing partner Puma.

    F1
  14. Redding: 2016 'make or break' year 09:46

    Redding: 2016 'make or break' year

    Pramac rider Scott Redding has described 2016 as a "make or break" year for his future in MotoGP, as the Briton prepares for a…

    MotoGP
  15. 'Wehrlein secures F1 seat with Manor' 08:52

    'Wehrlein secures F1 seat with Manor'

    DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein has landed a seat at Manor for the 2016 season, with a deal to be announced shortly, according to…

    F1
  16. Video of the Day: Suzuki Sepang review 05:27

    Video of the Day: Suzuki Sepang review

    Suzuki riders Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró review the opening pre-season test in Malaysia.

    MotoGP
  17. Tuesday 9 February 2016

  18. New McLaren passes FIA crash tests 15:57

    New McLaren passes FIA crash tests

    McLaren's new Formula 1 car, the Honda-powered MP4-31, has passed the FIA's mandatory crash tests ahead of pre-season testing…

    F1
  19. 15:43

    Photos: Australian Grand Prix photocall

    F1
  20. MotoGP reveals Baz test crash data 14:02

    MotoGP reveals Baz test crash data

    MotoGP has revealed the full telemetry data from Loris Baz's frightening 290km/h pre-season testing accident at Sepang, with the…

    MotoGP
  21. Video: Rémi Taffin outlines Renault task 12:16

    Video: Rémi Taffin outlines Renault task

    Renault Engine Technical Director Rémi Taffin outlines the task ahead of the company on its works return.

    F1
  22. In photos: Magnussen's journey to Renault 11:20

    In photos: Magnussen's journey to Renault

    Last week, Kevin Magnussen's return to Formula 1 was confirmed, with the Dane securing a seat at the works Renault team. In this…

    F1
  23. Palmer: Maldonado 'not a bad driver' 10:06

    Palmer: Maldonado 'not a bad driver'

    Jolyon Palmer has defended Pastor Maldonado's abilities behind the wheel after the Venezuelan lost his Formula 1 drive at…

    F1
  24. Mercedes expects 'big gains' at McLaren 09:27

    Mercedes expects 'big gains' at McLaren

    World Champion team Mercedes says that it approaches the 2016 season expecting to be beaten by Ferrari, and has also described…

    F1
  25. Taffin: Renault integration will take time 08:52

    Taffin: Renault integration will take time

    Renault's Engine Technical Director Rémi Taffin says it will take time for the two sides of the reformed outfit to work…

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Ocon reflects on F3 05:12

    Video of the Day: Ocon reflects on F3

    Newly appointed Renault reserve driver Esteban Ocon reflects on his title-winning F3 campaign in 2014.

    F3
  27. Monday 8 February 2016

  28. Sauber's new car passes crash tests 16:23

    Sauber's new car passes crash tests

    Sauber's new Formula 1 challenger, the C35, has passed the FIA's mandatory crash tests, clearing it for pre-season testing…

    F1
  29. Ghiotto graduates to GP2 with Trident 15:08

    Ghiotto graduates to GP2 with Trident

    GP3 Series runner-up Luca Ghiotto and Trident will continue their partnership this year after the team confirmed that he will…

    GP2
  30. Andretti could field Frijns in IndyCar 14:35

    Andretti could field Frijns in IndyCar

    Michael Andretti says it is "very possible" that Formula E racer Robin Frijns could make his IndyCar debut with Andretti…

    Indy
  31. Hamilton has up to '10 years' left in F1 12:57

    Hamilton has up to '10 years' left in F1

    Triple World Champion Lewis Hamilton could continue to compete in Formula 1 for the next 10 years, taking him through the 2025…

    F1
  32. Newey fearful of engine 'spending frenzy' 12:06

    Newey fearful of engine 'spending frenzy'

    Adrian Newey is fearful that plans to scrap Formula 1's power unit development token system could lead to a "spending frenzy…

    F1
  33. Video: Nick Chester on Renault chassis 11:02

    Video: Nick Chester on Renault chassis

    Renault's Chassis Technical Director, Nick Chester, looks ahead to the manufacturer's works return.

    F1
  34. Ron Dennis pays tribute to Patty McLaren 09:10

    Ron Dennis pays tribute to Patty McLaren

    McLaren has announced that Patty McLaren, the widow of team founder Bruce, has passed away, with Group CEO Ron Dennis describing…

    F1
  35. Renault wants 'stable base' from RS16 08:56

    Renault wants 'stable base' from RS16

    Renault's Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester says the squad wants a "stable base" from its 2016 car, the RS16, and it…

    F1
  36. Video of the Day: Palmer on F1 debut 05:26

    Video of the Day: Palmer on F1 debut

    Jolyon Palmer talks about his upcoming rookie Formula 1 season with the Renault works outfit.

    F1
  37. Sunday 7 February 2016

  38. Vasseur not fussed by F1 inexperience 14:26

    Vasseur not fussed by F1 inexperience

    Newly appointed Renault Racing Director Frédéric Vasseur says that his lack of experience in Formula 1 will not be a hindrance…

    F1
  39. Video: Buenos Aires ePrix highlights 11:22

    Video: Buenos Aires ePrix highlights

    Watch highlights from the fourth round of the 2015/16 Formula E season around the streets of Buenos Aires.

    FE
  40. Riders face sanctions for PR absences 10:22

    Riders face sanctions for PR absences

    MotoGP riders could face sporting penalties if they fail to participate in promotional events in 2016, the sport's Grand Prix…

    MotoGP
  41. Rossi positive over 2016 Manor prospects 09:12

    Rossi positive over 2016 Manor prospects

    Alexander Rossi says he remains positive that he can conclude a deal to remain in Formula 1 with the Mercedes-powered Manor team…

    F1
  42. Video of the Day: Magnussen back in F1 05:22

    Video of the Day: Magnussen back in F1

    Kevin Magnussen discusses his last-minute Formula 1 return with the revived Renault works team.

    F1
  43. Saturday 6 February 2016

  44. 19:58

    Formula E photos: Saturday at Buenos Aires

    FE
  45. Bird takes stunning Buenos Aires victory 19:57

    Bird takes stunning Buenos Aires victory

    Sam Bird controlled proceedings in Buenos Aires as he resisted a late attack from Sébastien Buemi to collect his first victory…

    FE
  46. Prost rules out F1 role with Renault 14:20

    Prost rules out F1 role with Renault

    Four-time World Champion Alain Prost has ruled out taking on a role with the Renault Formula 1 team as it prepares to return to…

    F1
more news