It was another weekend to forget for the Pramac Ducati squad of Randy De Puniet and Loris Capirossi, with both riders coming away from Le Mans with another DNF under their belts. De Puniet’s home race started badly during the morning warmup session. Whilst on a slow lap, De Puniet cut across the track in front of Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner whilst he was on a hot lap. Stoner was visibly angry and punched De Puniet on the shoulder. The riders both apologised after the session had concluded, with Stoner receiving a $5000 fine from Race Direction.
In the race, De Puniet did not manage to complete the first lap as he lost the front end of his machine, and ended in the gravel. “I do not know what to say” said Randy.
“I do not understand how I managed to fall like this. It’s been very strange, the front has suddenly lost the grip and I slipped. I’m disappointed, I am angry. I wanted to do well in this race. Tomorrow I’ll only have in mind the next GP in Barcelona, but now I cannot forget what happened today.”
He then spoke about the Stoner incident, “I’m sorry about what happened this morning with Casey. I was adjusting the brake, thinking that I had no one behind. Then, suddenly, I saw Casey coming behind me at full speed, I tried to leave the road to him, but unfortunately I went where he was pointing. I’m sorry and even if his reaction was not the best, for me it’s all put in the past and I have nothing wrong against him.”
Loris Capirossi initially had a good race, being involved in a five rider tussle with Ãlvaro Bautista, Hector Barbera, Toni Elias and Karel Abraham. However it was Bautista that cost Capirossi a race finish. After Bautista made a mistake, the two riders touched and Capirossi ended in the gravel, crashing out in what was last place.
“So much, so much bad luck today.” said Loris.
“I was waiting for the end of the race to attack the group, I had the chance to recover some positions. Then Bautista has slowed suddenly as he was fighting as well with another rider and I couldn’t avoid to touch him and this made me fall. There is always something wrong, unfortunately. Now there is little to say, this race has to be soon forgot. Next round at Barcelona, hoping that luck will assist us.”