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Who is Randy de Puniet?
By Dirck J. Edge

When we wrote our MotoGP preview article a few days ago, we immediately received an email from an observant reader who pointed out that we forgot to mention Randy de Puniet. de Puniet is a rookie riding along side Shinya Nakano on the factory Kawasaki MotoGP team.

So, who is Randy de Puniet? de Puniet is a Frenchman who made his grand prix debut in the 125cc class in 1998, moving to a full-time ride in 1999.

Although de Puniet has never won a World championship, he had considerable success in the 250cc GP class after arriving in that division in 2001. Before moving to MotoGP this year, de Puniet scored 5 wins in the 250cc class, as well as 22 podiums and 9 pole positions. If you know anything about how competitive the 250cc GP category is, you will be very impressed by these statistics. de Puniet is a very skilled rider.

He has also been impressive in pre-series testing aboard the Kawasaki MotoGP bike. He is obviously still on the steep part of his learning curve for MotoGP, but he is already running competitive lap times, including the 5th quickest time at the final IRTA combined MotoGP test at Jerez two weeks ago. At Jerez, he was quicker than Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards, and even Valentino Rossi!

de Puniet is definitely another rider to keep an eye on this year in MotoGP, particularly, if the Kawasaki machine (and its Bridgestone tires) proves to be as competitive as it appeared to be in pre-series testing.

Source: Motorcycle Daily
 
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