Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Randy De Pu­niet knew the heat was on as he chased a podium place on his FCC TSR Honda – when it caught fire in the clos­ing stages of the race.

The French­man was chas­ing sec­ond spot hard when the drama hit and he had to make an emer­gency pit stop with only 30 min­utes of the Suzuka 8-Hour re­main­ing.

De Pu­niet was build­ing up speed after a safety car had left the track and was to­tally un­ware that his Blade was en­gulfed in flames. In­stead, he was locked in a fierce fight for sec­ond place with Leon Haslam.

He said: “I saw the black flag and thought ‘what is go­ing on?’ I did one or two laps, and when I fi­nally stopped the guys in the pits told me that the bike was on fire!”

“I wanted to con­tinue, but you have to stop when you see the flag. But I felt noth­ing strange on the bike, and it was im­pos­si­ble to see what was go­ing on.

“I knew the problem was fixed after the stop, though, and I wanted to get go­ing again; I was dis­ap­pointed be­cause I knew we had lost sec­ond po­si­tion and it was hard to stay fo­cused un­til the end of the race.”

De Pu­niet’s bid for sec­ond went up in flames

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