Randy de Puniet expects to be competitive in tomorrow's Valencian Grand Prix regardless of the weather conditions. The Frenchman qualified a superb fourth this afternoon in the dry but also looked strong in the wet Friday practice sessions, fuelling his belief that he can challenge for a top six finish at the very least.
“I’m happy to end the season, at times unfortunate, so well. In these days my team worked so well. I found an excellent feeling with the bike and tyres. I feel confident in both the wet and the dry. It's been an up-and-down season, and I want to finish it as well as possible, as a way to thank the team.”
De Puniet had a minor off on his final lap, preventing him from improving and his track engineer Marco Rigamonti feels that could've cost him a place on the front row.
“We are very proud about our work. We were fast all weekend, both in the dry and in the wet. For the moment, everything went perfectly, both with the bike and the tires. The race pace is very good, and Randy will have to focus on the start. It's a shame, we could've qualified on the first row, but the important thing is that we were very close. Randy crashed on the last lap because he wanted to take the first row, but that's okay.”
Pramac Racing teammate Loris Capirossi will line up in 12th for his final Grand Prix and is motivated to honour Marco Simoncelli on the day he sports the no.58 plate. The Italian admits it still hasn't sunk in that his career will come to a close tomorrow but still stands by his decision to retire.
“To think that this was my last qualifying session makes me a little sad, but I'm happy with the choice I made. I expected my last round to be different, happier. Instead, I'm very sad, and I have a big empty spot for Marco, who has left us. I'm sorry I wasn't so fast, but I want to honour him as well as I can tomorrow. It will be my last race, and I still can't believe it.”