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November 5th, 2011
Randy de Puniet is aiming to stay in the top five in the Valencia Grand Prix after claiming a season-best fourth on the grid with his Pramac Ducati – but is not ruling out a shock podium finish.
The Frenchman has been a front-runner in all conditions this weekend, and sees no reason why that should not continue in the race.
“To be fourth for the last race is good,” de Puniet told the official MotoGP website.
“I will give my best and I think I’m able to be in the top five – this will be my target. If everything works well, maybe a podium. It would be incredible but it’s not impossible tomorrow.”
De Puniet was only denied a front row start by a late lap from Yamaha’s Ben Spies, who edged the Pramac Ducati out of third, with de Puniet then falling as he tried to respond.
“It’s a good start to the weekend for me, because since yesterday I’ve been fast in all conditions,” said de Puniet.
“Until two minutes before the end I was third. I did a very good session. Unfortunately Ben Spies overtook me at the end, but I’m very happy to be on the second row.”
Loris Capirossi had hoped to join de Puniet among the lead group on Pramac’s other bike, having also gone well in practice, but he could not do better than 12th on the grid for what will be his final MotoGP race.
“To think that this was my last qualifying session makes me a little sad, but I’m happy with the choice I made,” said Capirossi, who is running the #58 on his bike this weekend in tribute to the late Marco Simoncelli.
“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.”