MotoGP

Pedrosa unhappy with Puig comments

Alberto Puig's comments prompt a rare public response from his former MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa.
Pedrosa unhappy with Puig comments

Dani Pedrosa has taken issue with comments by former personal and team manager Alberto Puig, which seemed to question his desire to be a MotoGP champion.

The comments were made in an interview Puig conducted with lavanguardia.com, in which he is quoted as saying he found a 'different' Dani this season.

When asked what Pedrosa was lacking this year, Puig replied that to be a MotoGP champion there are things he has not done: "In life nobody gives you anything. There have been others who wanted to win the title more."

Pedrosa responded with the following post on his official Facebook page (see below), regretting Puig's disappointment after always giving his best, rubbishing any 'doubt' about how much he wanted to be champion and questioning why such 'resentful' opinions were not raised in person while he was in the team, rather than in public once he had left.

Puig was closely involved in both the start and end of Pedrosa's racing career, plucking the youngster from the Movistar Cup and guiding him during a spectacular rise through the 125 and 250cc ranks.

But the MotoGP crown would elude Pedrosa, who finished title runner-up for Repsol Honda in 2007, 2010 and 2012.

Pedrosa then split from Puig at the end of 2013, but they would be brought back together under very different circumstances when the former grand prix racer was hired as Repsol Honda's new team manager at the end of last season.

Puig then played a leading role in clinching triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo's signature to join Marc Marquez next season, thus sending Pedrosa out of the team and - having declined a chance to join Sepang Yamaha - into retirement.

Relations had remained cordial in public - Pedrosa being presented with two of his race bikes during the recent Honda Thanks Day - but the fact Pedrosa has chosen to become a MotoGP test rider for KTM, rather than Honda, suggested unease behind the scenes.

Puig on Marquez, Lorenzo and Rossi

During the same La Vanguardia interview, Puig also gave his opinion on what has been labelled as a 'dream team' line-up of Marquez and Lorenzo, who between them have won all but one MotoGP title since 2010.

Puig "doesn’t pretend or hope they will be [friendly] like cousins. Many team managers look for a non-conflict situation among their riders. For me it is a mistake: they will never win anything."

Instead, Puig accepts the inevitable rivalry, praising Lorenzo for "taking the risk and challenge of coming to this team, which says a lot about him, shows courage, and that he has the ambition to be at the highest level."

However, Puig expects Marquez to respond to that challenge: "If Lorenzo adapts to the bike, he will go very fast. And that will make the level rise.

"In recent years, Marc has not had competition in the team; Dani never shadowed him. If he has a fast rider beside him, Márquez will find a way to go faster, which could be a shock for Jorge."

Finally, Puig was asked to comment on the bitter Marquez-Rossi rivalry, which was reignited in only his second race as Repsol Honda team manager when the pair clashed in Argentina.

"At no time have I seen Marquez out of 'orbit' doing bad deeds towards Rossi; they were always racing incidents," Puig said.

"I respect Rossi, but in life everything has its moment. And like it or not, Marc is number one.

"Márquez does not care at all about the current of opinion they try to generate from the environment of Vale. On the contrary: we have felt his weakness in his actions."

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