MotoGP: Hayden's final swipe at Puig

'I guess some of the Honda bosses didn’t like it' says Nicky

VISITORS TO Valencia's pitlane may have been puzzled by a sticker that replaced the usual N HAYDEN name-tag on the American’s Repsol Honda, for Saturday morning’s practice session only. It read “N HYPOCRITE” instead.

Regulars, however, were delighted to share the joke.

It all began when Hayden said in an interview with a Spanish newspaper after the Australian GP that Pedrosa’s manager Alberto Puig was the decision-maker at the Honda factory team.

Puig reacted angrily, co-opting fellow-Spaniards at Dorna’s official website with his own one-sided version of the truth. Unflatteringly, he dubbed Hayden “a hypocrite”, saying that he had been leaching off Pedrosa’s ability to set up a bike by looking at his data, having no such ability on his own account.

At Malaysia last week, Hayden was generally philosophical, but angry about this untruth. The facts, he said, were that he never saw Pedrosa’s data, but that Dani had access to his, as well as to that of any other Honda rider, such as Andrea Dovizioso, who might be going well.

“I guess I’ll have to stop being a hypocrite,” he said.
The Valencia sticker was meant to drive the point home, but not in an ill-tempered way, he insisted, when questioned at the post-qualifying Press conference.

“My buddy called me ‘a hypocrite’, and the sticker guys made them up as a joke. It’s kind of funny, not malicious or being a big punk.”

He used them on Saturday morning, and then “a request came to take it off. I guess some of the (Honda) bosses didn’t like it,” he said.

Pedrosa, sitting alongside, was asked if he had any comment. “I’m not involved in that. I said nothing about it,” he said.