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. Wednesday 23 July 2014

  2. Bottas: Hungary not best circuit for our car 10:12

    Bottas: Hungary not best circuit for our car

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted he might struggle to get on the podium again this weekend in the Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  3. Mexico Grand Prix set for F1 return in 2015 09:52

    Mexico Grand Prix set for F1 return in 2015

    Mexico will return next season, Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed. According to reports by Forbes,...

    F1
  4. Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Germany 09:00

    Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Germany

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net is this season running a feature series entitled Story behind...

    F1
  5. Exclusive interview with Paul Hembery 08:00

    Exclusive interview with Paul Hembery

    Pirelli faced one of its biggest challenges since returning to the sport this season, having to adapt its products to...

    F1
  6. Hungaroring memories: Hill's first victory, 1993 05:00

    Hungaroring memories: Hill's first victory, 1993

    Take a look back at the 1993 Hungarian Grand Prix, a race where Damon Hill broke his duck and claimed his maiden victory in...

    F1
  7. Tuesday 22 July 2014

  8. D'Ambrosio joins Dragon Racing team 16:27

    D'Ambrosio joins Dragon Racing team

    Jérôme d'Ambrosio has completed Dragon Racing's line-up for the inaugural Formula E season. The 28-year-old Belgian, who p...

    Formula E
  9. Vergne to demo Red Bull F1 car at Assen 16:20

    Vergne to demo Red Bull F1 car at Assen

    Toro Rosso driver Jean-Éric Vergne will showcase a modern Formula 1 car at Assen next week. The Frenchman, contesting his...

    F1
  10. Hembery wants to keep Bahrain on test calendar 15:08

    Hembery wants to keep Bahrain on test calendar

    Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery is still hoping that Bahrain will be able to host a portion of pre-season testing...

    F1
  11. 14:09

    Photos: German GP in black and white

    F1
  12. Video: Pirelli's guide to the Hungarian GP 13:30

    Video: Pirelli's guide to the Hungarian GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli previews this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.

    F1
  13. Giovesi joins Caterham driver programme 11:58

    Giovesi joins Caterham driver programme

    Kevin Giovesi has become the second member of Caterham's new driver development programme. The 20-year-old Italian, who...

    F1
  14. Tost: Kvyat is doing a fantastic job 10:52

    Tost: Kvyat is doing a fantastic job

    Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has heaped praise on Daniil Kvyat for "doing a fantastic job" during the first half of his...

    F1
  15. Ecclestone: No doubts over Russian GP 10:16

    Ecclestone: No doubts over Russian GP

    Bernie Ecclestone says he has no doubts over the Russian Grand Prix following the MH17 tragedy. Malaysia Airlines Flight...

    F1
  16. Winners and Losers at the German Grand Prix 09:15

    Winners and Losers at the German Grand Prix

    Hockenheim played host to the 10th round of the season as Nico Rosberg claimed a comfortable victory, while Mercedes...

    F1
  17. Vettel out to keep up the momentum in Hungary 08:00

    Vettel out to keep up the momentum in Hungary

    Sebastian Vettel says he will work hard this coming weekend to "keep up the momentum" and get another strong result in...

    F1
  18. Pirelli expects usual two stops in Hungary 07:00

    Pirelli expects usual two stops in Hungary

    Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery believes teams and drivers will opt for the usual two stops in the Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  19. Hungaroring memories: Mansell secures title, 1992 05:00

    Hungaroring memories: Mansell secures title, 1992

    Relive the 1992 Hungarian Grand Prix, where Ayrton Senna won and Nigel Mansell finished second to secure the title.

    F1
  20. Monday 21 July 2014

  21. Formula E reveals Buenos Aires track layout 17:23

    Formula E reveals Buenos Aires track layout

    Formula E has revealed the track layout and location for the Buenos Aires ePrix, round four in the inaugural 2014/2015...

    Formula E
  22. Boullier: Useful clutch of points squandered 16:45

    Boullier: Useful clutch of points squandered

    Eric Boullier believes McLaren lost out on scoring a "useful clutch of points" in the German Grand Prix. Jenson Button...

    F1
  23. Video: Rosberg reflects on German GP win 16:00

    Video: Rosberg reflects on German GP win

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg reflects on his victory on home soil in the German Grand Prix.

    F1
  24. Horner wants clarification after brake change 15:13

    Horner wants clarification after brake change

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has asked the FIA to clarify why Lewis Hamilton was allowed to switch brake suppliers...

    F1
  25. Smedley: Both cars on podium aim now 14:34

    Smedley: Both cars on podium aim now

    Rob Smedley has said that Williams now wants a double podium finish in the wake of Valtteri Bottas' latest success in the...

    F1
  26. Hamilton: I can't focus more or work harder 13:55

    Hamilton: I can't focus more or work harder

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he cannot do any more to win the title this season and that he is already giving...

    F1
  27. Video: Montoya, Aleshin crash out in Toronto 13:30

    Video: Montoya, Aleshin crash out in Toronto

    Footage of Juan Pablo Montoya and Mikhail Aleshin crashing out in Race 2 in Toronto.

    Indy
  28. Wolff: German GP results 'feels' like 1-2 12:48

    Wolff: German GP results 'feels' like 1-2

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said the team's double podium in the German Grand Prix 'feels' likes a one-two, given Lewis...

    F1
  29. Penalty point for Vergne after track limits breach 11:52

    Penalty point for Vergne after track limits breach

    Toro Rosso driver Jean-Éric Vergne has been given a penalty point on his licence following the German Grand Prix. Vergne...

    F1
  30. Button: I overreacted to Hamilton clash 11:29

    Button: I overreacted to Hamilton clash

    McLaren driver Jenson Button has backtracked on comments he made after he clashed with Lewis Hamilton in the German Grand...

    F1
  31. Kvyat: I saw smoke and flames in the mirrors 11:05

    Kvyat: I saw smoke and flames in the mirrors

    Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat made a dramatic and fiery exit from the German Grand Prix last weekend. The incident...

    F1
  32. Vettel in 'fun' Hockenheim fight with Alonso 10:28

    Vettel in 'fun' Hockenheim fight with Alonso

    Sebastian Vettel says he enjoyed his scrap with Fernando Alonso during the German Grand Prix. It was a case of déjà-vu at...

    F1
  33. Alonso: Ferrari made small step forward 09:56

    Alonso: Ferrari made small step forward

    Fernando Alonso believes the Scuderia made a "small step forward" at the German Grand Prix. Alonso enjoyed battles with...

    F1
  34. Hungaroring memories: Inoue hit by medical car 05:00

    Hungaroring memories: Inoue hit by medical car

    Taki Inoue was dramatically hit by a medical car after retiring from the 1995 Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  35. Sunday 20 July 2014

  36. Conway wins wet, chaotic Race 2 in Toronto 22:59

    Conway wins wet, chaotic Race 2 in Toronto

    Mike Conway has won by 3.5 seconds in a dramatic wet/dry second race in IndyCar's Toronto doubleheader. Pitting earlier...

    Indy
  37. Räikkönen blames damage for slump 17:15

    Räikkönen blames damage for slump

    Kimi Räikkönen has blamed car damage for his disappointing finish in Sunday's German Grand Prix. The Finn, on an opposing...

    F1
  38. Bourdais wins in Race 1 at Toronto, first since 2007 17:14

    Bourdais wins in Race 1 at Toronto, first since 2007

    Sebastien Bourdais has won his first open wheel race since 2007, claiming victory in the first race of the IndyCar Toronto...

    Indy
  39. Eriksson loses Hockenheim podium finish 16:58

    Eriksson loses Hockenheim podium finish

    Jimmy Eriksson's GP3 title bid has taken a hit after losing his podium in Sunday's race at Hockenheim. The Koiranen GP...

    GP3
  40. Button critical of Hamilton after clash 16:38

    Button critical of Hamilton after clash

    Jenson Button was left bemused by Lewis Hamilton's driving after the pair clashed during Sunday's German Grand Prix at...

    F1
  41. 16:37

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Hockenheim

    F1
  42. Ricciardo: Hockenheim was 'awesome fun' 16:36

    Ricciardo: Hockenheim was 'awesome fun'

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo hailed his German Grand Prix as 'awesome fun' after he recovered from an unfortunate...

    F1
  43. Force India duo struggle with front tyres 16:23

    Force India duo struggle with front tyres

    Force India duo Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez were left to lament heavy front tyre degradation during the German Grand P...

    F1
  44. Bottas: Engineers key in Hamilton battle 16:13

    Bottas: Engineers key in Hamilton battle

    Valtteri Bottas has paid tribute to his engineers for their assistance amid his late German Grand Prix battle with Lewis...

    F1
more news