Born in Maisons-Laffitte, Yvelines, de Puniet was French 125cc champion in 1998, moving up to the world championship a year later. In 2001 he moved up to the 250cc World Championship. He earned two podium finishes in 2002 to earn a factory Aprilia ride for 2003. He took his first win in Catalunya, coming 4th overall with 3 wins. In 2004 he was third with a single win, spending 2005 with on an Aprilia run by former world champion, Jorge Martínez and his Aspar Racing Team.
2006 was his first season in MotoGP, for the Kawasaki factory team, where he remained for 2007. He took his first front-row start at the 2007 Catalan Grand Prix, and finished a career-best fifth. Up until Donington, he started all but one other race on the third row. He started fourth and finished second at Motegi in the wet.
LCR Honda announced on 24 August 2007 that de Puniet would ride for them in 2008 and 2009. He suffered a fractured ankle in a midseason testing crash in 2009. He ultimately remained with LCR for 2010, despite being linked to the French Tech 3 squad. He had been in contention for a Tech 3 ride for 2011, but team boss Herve Poncharal denied this link.
He enjoyed a strong run of form midseason in 2010, including consecutive front row starts at Silverstone and Assen. He was running fifth in the championship before breaking his leg in a crash at the Sachsenring. He missed the race at Laguna Seca before returning at Brno, where he finished tenth.
In spite of the promise he showed on the Honda before his injury, De Puniet raced for Pramac Racing in 2011. After a disappointing year on the satellite Ducati De Puniet joined the Power Electronics Aspar team for 2012, a 'Claiming Rules Team' running a modified Aprilia RSV4 known as the ART.
For 2014, De Puniet was not racing, instead concentrating on development and testing on the Suzuki 2015 MotoGP machine. He hoped to receive a wild card ride during 2014, and did so at the final race in Valencia, retiring from the race.
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)* Season still in progress.
De Puniet is a member of the 'Champions for Peace' club, a group of more than 90 famous elite created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization placed under the High Patronage of H.S.H Prince Albert II. This group of top level champions, wish to make sport a tool for dialogue and social cohesion. http://www.peace-sport.org/our-champions-of-peace/