Randy de Puniet is hopeful that he can translate a strong practice performance into some world championship points after going tenth quickest on Friday in Australia. The Frenchman has scored points in the last seven races but has only finished in the top ten on three occasions this year, leaving him 16th in the championship standings.
But after finishing FP2 in seventh place, de Puniet hopes he can carry his current form into Sunday on a circuit which he feels the Ducati bike is performing well on.
“Not a bad way to begin the weekend. In the last few races we were quite competitive since the beginning but then we couldn't manage to achieve good results during the race. I hope this time it will be different and that Sunday we can conquer something important for me and for my Team. It will be important for us because in the next race, in Malaysia, it will surely be much more difficult to be as competitive as here.”
De Puniet's track engineer Marco Rigamonti was also encouraged by the feedback he received and feels a top ten challenge could be possible in qualifying and the race.
“Today has been a good of practice for us. The most important thing for us is the feeling that our rider give us and Randy is quite positive. He has done a really good job achieving good lap times while all alone in the track. This means that he has the possibility to fight for important positions in both, tomorrow qualification and Sunday's race. We will give him maximum support to be as fast as possible.”
Pramac Racing teammate Loris Capirossi made his return to action after missing the Japanese GP through injury and was pretty happy with the way his body coped after finishing 15th overall, 0.382s behind De Puniet.
“I was curious to see how my physical condition was and I have to say that I am quite satisfied. The shoulder does still give me pain and I am at 85 % at this moment. Not so bad but each lap I will ride the more painful it will be. Anyway I should be able to finish the weekend without too many complications. Bike wise this morning things seem good and in the afternoon we couldn't improve as we expected also because the temperature was a bit cooler. Tomorrow things may change with the weather and this would surely mix the cards around.”