Randy de Puniet's home French MotoGP got off to a dramatic start when the Frenchman instantly highsided from his Aspar ART at Le Mans on Sunday.

de Puniet then returned to the Aspar pits on foot and rejoined the race on his second bike, only to crash out of 18th place in the closing stages.

"The start was really strange, as when I put the clutch in the bike highsided; that has never happened to me before," said de Puniet, who was left lying on the racetrack after the accident.

"To be honest, I was lucky, because it could have been much worse with the riders behind me coming through.

"I went back to the pits, got on the second bike and was already a lap behind, plus the feeling wasn't great with that machine either. In the end, shortly before the finish, I crashed again."

de Puniet had been the leading CRT rider throughout the dry track sessions at Le Mans.

"It is a shame, because up until yesterday I was riding well in the dry, but in the wet this weekend was a disaster. Fortunately I didn't re-injure myself, and I hope to be at 100% for Barcelona," he added.

Several other riders also got sideways at the start of Sunday's race, including Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies. Spies believes his moment was caused by running over the finish line paint, while Hayden felt there 'must have something on the inside of the track'.


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