14 July 2015
de Puniet: Racing isn’t a pleasure right now
Randy de Puniet: I want my racing to be a pleasure and that, right now in World Superbike, it is not...
Randy de Puniet says he is determined to turn his fortunes around in the World Superbike Championship before his maiden year is out, but admits he isn't enjoying competing as he struggles for form.
The Frenchman, a former podium winner in MotoGP, was a high-profile new signing for World Superbikes after landing at the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team for 2015. However, after crashing heavily during pre-season testing, his injury recovery coupled to the team's decision to switch to Magneti Marelli electronics has seen him struggle to find pace on the GSX-R1000.
Indeed, after eight rounds, de Puniet has managed just a single top ten finish and currently languishes 18th in the overall standings.
Attributing his difficulties with getting comfortable on the Suzuki since the electronics package switch, de Puniet is frustrated that development is largely reduced to mileage on race weekends.
“Glen Richards is helping us by preparing some of the work, but he spends very little time on track,” he told the official WSBK website. “I know what I'm talking about because I spent a year and a half working on the Magneti Marelli unit for the Suzuki GSX-RR (the prototype entered by Suzuki in MotoGP for the return of the marque in the series in 2015). We did hundreds of laps and spent hours riding to finally have something that was working properly for the beginning of the 2015 season.
“That's why I can tell you that, starting to work on a new electronic system mid-season, without any solid basis and with two riders and only race weekends available to work on-track, is very difficult. We're making some progress but not fast enough compared to the other manufacturers.”
“I really hope we can improve and have a bike with which we'll be able to work session after session. Right now, we can't have any specific goal aside from doing our best at every weekend.”
Looking forward, de Puniet does not rule out staying in World Superbikes, but says his current situation is preventing him from enjoying the racing.
“I don't have any serious plans yet. I have something that's building up, but it is still too early to talk about it. What I do know is that I want my racing to be a pleasure and that, right now in World Superbike, it is not. Whether it be in Superbike or elsewhere, I want to enjoy riding again. For now, I will try to end the season as well as I can because it is not an easy situation to go through.”
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