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 5 March 2015

  2. 18:52

    Subscribe for GPUpdate Manager 2015!

    F1
  3. Manor passes crash tests with updated car 18:46

    Manor passes crash tests with updated car

    Manor Marussia has been officially cleared to compete in next weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, after passing...

    F1
  4. Speed joins Vergne at Andretti for Miami 16:20

    Speed joins Vergne at Andretti for Miami

    Andretti Autosport has confirmed that Scott Speed will make his Formula E debut at next weekend's Miami round, alongside...

    FE
  5. Manor in talks with 'quick young guys' 15:17

    Manor in talks with 'quick young guys'

    Manor's President and Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon says the squad is in discussions with a few 'quick young' drivers and...

    F1
  6. Weekend deadline for German Grand Prix 11:16

    Weekend deadline for German Grand Prix

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says that the future of the German Grand Prix needs to be resolved by this weekend,...

    F1
  7. Van der Garde takes legal action against Sauber 10:25

    Van der Garde takes legal action against Sauber

    Giedo van der Garde is taking legal action against Sauber, claiming that he was unfairly dismissed from the team with which...

    F1
  8. Stöckinger to make GP2 debut with Status 09:05

    Stöckinger to make GP2 debut with Status

    Status Grand Prix has confirmed that Lotus F1 junior driver Marlon Stöckinger will make his GP2 debut with the squad in...

    GP2
  9. Jaafar switches to Fortec for FR3.5 campaign 08:05

    Jaafar switches to Fortec for FR3.5 campaign

    Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar will race for Fortec Motorsports in this year's Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Jaafar made...

    FR 3.5
  10. Video of the Day: Ice driving with Rosberg 05:22

    Video of the Day: Ice driving with Rosberg

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg shows off his ice driving skills ahead of the new Formula 1 season.

    F1
  11. Wednesday 4 March 2015

  12. Manor confirms it will race in Australia 16:40

    Manor confirms it will race in Australia

    Manor has confirmed that it will return to competition and race in next weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix,...

    F1
  13. Pirelli names tyre choices for first four races 14:27

    Pirelli names tyre choices for first four races

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has announced its compound nominations for the first four races of the season in Australia,...

    F1
  14. Ricciardo answers GPUpdate reader questions 14:02

    Ricciardo answers GPUpdate reader questions

    Last month, GPUpdate.net gave readers the opportunity to pose questions to Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo. We picked out a...

    F1
  15. Marciello to get practice outing in Malaysia 11:26

    Marciello to get practice outing in Malaysia

    Sauber test and reserve driver Raffaele Marciello has announced that he will take part in the opening free practice session...

    F1
  16. Lotus pleased with engine, chassis gains 10:14

    Lotus pleased with engine, chassis gains

    Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester reckons the team is in a much stronger position this year with its new...

    F1
  17. Pons confirms Merhi for 2015 season 09:38

    Pons confirms Merhi for 2015 season

    Pons Racing has signed Roberto Merhi for the upcoming Formula Renault 3.5 campaign. The Spaniard, 23, made his series...

    FR 3.5
  18. F1 2015: How did each team fare at Barcelona? 08:12

    F1 2015: How did each team fare at Barcelona?

    After eight more days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the pre-season period is officially over....

    F1
  19. Video of the Day: Red Bull driver photo shoot 05:04

    Video of the Day: Red Bull driver photo shoot

    Go behind the scenes at Red Bull's driver photo shoot with renowned photographer Michael Muller.

    F1
  20. Tuesday 3 March 2015

  21. Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test 14:43

    Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test

    After teaming up with Ultimate Ears last year, Red Bull decided to put the UE Boom to the ultimate test.

    F1
  22. Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix 12:13

    Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix

    McLaren has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will sit out the Australian Grand Prix in the wake of his testing crash at the...

    F1
  23. Force India braced for early regression 09:31

    Force India braced for early regression

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley says the squad is braced for a slow start to the 2015 campaign following the...

    F1
  24. Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme 09:24

    Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme

    Williams has confirmed the details of Susie Wolff's on track programme for the 2015 season. Wolff, who stepped up to the...

    F1
  25. Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key 08:42

    Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key

    Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key hailed a positive pre-season campaign for the Italian squad, believing that the new...

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch 05:24

    Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch

    Highlights from the launch event of Formula E's Berlin ePrix, which will take place later this season around the grounds of...

    FE
  27. Monday 2 March 2015

  28. Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari 15:42

    Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has emphasised that the Italian outfit must remain disciplined as it prepares for...

    F1
  29. Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia 14:14

    Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the French power unit supplier is 'quietly confident' ahead of the opening...

    F1
  30. FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes 13:08

    FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes

    Formula 1 drivers will be restricted to just one helmet design per season after a proposals put forward by figures inside...

    F1
  31. Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers 11:01

    Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers

    The final pre-season test at Barcelona saw Nico Rosberg and Mercedes top the timesheets, and Sauber lead the mileage stakes....

    F1
  32. Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes 10:52

    Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes

    Sebastian Vettel says he expects a close fight between Williams, Red Bull and his Ferrari team this year – albeit some way b...

    F1
  33. Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4 10:45

    Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4

    Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, will make his car racing debut in German ADAC Formula 4...

    Misc
  34. Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo 10:33

    Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo

    Formula Renault 3.5 outfit Pons Racing has confirmed that it has parted company with Colombian youngster Óscar...

    FR 3.5
  35. 09:57

    Photos: Red Bull presents RB11 livery

    F1
  36. Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery 09:32

    Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery

    Red Bull has revealed the RB11 in its final race colours, ahead of the squad's planned filming day at the Circuit de...

    F1
  37. Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation 08:38

    Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says he is encouraged by the progress the squad has made across its pre-season testing...

    F1
  38. Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project 08:15

    Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project

    Former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton has confirmed that he will make the switch to the World Endurance Championship this year...

    LM
  39. Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan 08:12

    Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton and Nissan GT Academy mentor Alex Buncombe discuss their roles with Nissan ahead of the...

    LM
  40. Sunday 1 March 2015

  41. 19:26

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 4

    F1
  42. Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08 19:12

    Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08

    Sergio Pérez expressed his optimism after he received his first taste of Force India's VJM08 at the Circuit de...

    F1
  43. McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015 18:57

    McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the squad is prepared for a tricky start to its 2015 campaign after pre-season...

    F1
  44. Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash 18:33

    Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash

    Lotus has confirmed that a brake problem caused Pastor Maldonado's crash on the final day of pre-season testing in...

    F1
  45. Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season 18:13

    Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season

    Nico Rosberg declared himself happy with Mercedes' pre-season preparations, after topping the combined times at the final...

    F1
more news