The Pramac Ducati team of Randy De Puniet and Loris Capirossi suffered a disapointing Pramac debut at the season opener in Qatar, as the two riders retired within the first few corners of the first lap.
As the pack were tightly packed moving around the first lap, De Puniet lost control of his bike, and suffered a low side. As the bike hit the tarmac, the back end bounced up and hit the clutch lever and his hand. At the end of the lap, Capirossi retired to the pits, ending what could have been a rewarding weekend for the team.
Capirossi was examined at the Clinica Mobile after returning to the pits, and x-rays confirmed that he had suffered no damage to his hand.
After the race, De Puniet said, “I’m sorry for the fall and to have the misfortune to hit my team-mate.”
He explained the accident, “The rear tire was probably still cold on the left side and as soon as I opened the throttle the bike raised in the air and all of a sudden I found my nose on the ground. It ‘s really a shame because we were very confident after the good warm up that we had done. The only thing we can do do is think of Jerez where in two weeks time we will try to redeem this unfortunate weekend.”
Capirossi then summed up his feelings “Disappointed” he said.
“But in racing these things can happen. I am very sorry it had to happen with my new team-mate who has no faults however. Again, anything can happen in racing. We now hope that fortune turns around and we will have better luck next time. The only positive aspect is that the hand is not broken, I felt a lot of pain and I had some concerns, but we will be in Jerez!”