MotoGP »

De Puniet defeats Nieto for first GP victory.

Randy de Puniet finally took his first ever GP victory, after nearly 40 starts, in today's 250cc Catalan Grand Prix, the flying Frenchman emerging on top after a race long battle with Fonsi Nieto – while Catalan Toni Elias made up an amazing 21 places after being left second to last into turn one.

Qualifying had seen De Puniet hold on to pole position despite failing to improve on his provisional Friday time.

The LCR star would start from the front of the grid for the second race in succession, although he was no doubt be hoping to improve on his race performance from last weekend, when he crashed out of second place when challenging Manuel Poggiali for the race lead.

Poggiali again starts from a menacing second on the grid after improving his provisional time to move ahead of Elias. The Spaniard was unable to make any progress with his lap times yesterday, but survived pressure from Franco Battaini to hang on to third.

Honda riders Sebastian Porto and Roberto Rolfo qualified in fifth and eighth respectively to sandwich Fonsi Nieto and Naoki Matsudo on the second row.

Into today's race and local superstar Elias had a nightmare start – he may as well have stalled – after remaining virtually stationery while the rest of the field threaded their way past him, leaving the Repsol Aprilia second to last into turn one.

But up front it was Poggiali who led the field through the right left chicane, from Porto, de Puniet, Nieto, Battaini, West, Debon, Matsudo and Guintoli.

The San Marinese wouldn't lead for long as first Porto, then de Puniet took over by the end of the first lap – with Elias overtaking nine riders to sit 15th with 22 laps to go.

Soon filling the home favourite void left by Elias was team-mate Fonsi Nieto, one of the major disappointments of the year so far – a fact made frequently clear to him by his home media.

Fonsi was looking back to his old self as he passed de Puniet with an aggressive out-braking move to lead de Puniet and Poggiali, as the top three began to break away.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
de Puniet celebrates!
Crowds, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Pulkkinen, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Sasaki, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Bulega, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Bendsneyder, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Bendsneyder, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Bendsneyder, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Girls, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Girls, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Girls, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Girls, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Girl, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Girls, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Girls, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Norrodin, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Banner, Dutch Moto3 race 2017
Fernandez, Dutch Moto3 race 2017

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.