Randy De Puniet caused a big surprise at the final pre season test at Qatar, by finishing 6th on the timesheets at the end of Day 2, just 0.150s off 3rd place Ben Spies’ factory Yamaha. The experienced Frenchman recovered from 2 crashes on Day 1 to post his time under tricky conditions. Strong winds and a sandy track hampered grip levels, but understandably, De Puniet was happy.

“I feel better riding my Ducati and I really enjoyed today. My team did a fantastic job after two crashes yesterday. We tried many different solutions changing tires to understand the various reactions in anticipation of Sunday’s race. We are confident.” he said.

For teammate Loris Capirossi. Halfway through the session, the veteran Italian crashed at 124mph and was unable to improve afterwards. Capirossi ended the session in 14th.

“Today I felt good on the track, everything seemed to go in the right direction, but after the crash at more than 200km/h, things did not go as expected. However, I remain very calm for the first race here in Qatar this weekend. We tried some technical solutions that should allow us to be competitive and register significantly lower lap times. Now we enjoy a couple of relaxing days and finally the new season kicks off.” he said.