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Q&A: Alberto Puig (Repsol Honda).

Sure, but obviously not as far a very talented rider. He can get far, but the one with a natural talent always gets further. Except for those with careless attitudes. But under normal conditions, a talented rider has more chances.

Let's talk about MotoGP. Do you think that Honda will be able to recover from its current technical disadvantages?

Alberto Puig:
We hope so, because we consider Honda to be the number one manufacturer in the world. But we currently do not have the bike we would like to have. Everybody knows that and they know it too. We are waiting for the improvements to arrive. But we obviously can't [say] that we're happy with the bike, because we are not.

Can you explain the current situation as regards to Dani's chances of fighting for the title?

Alberto Puig:
The situation of the championship is the following: We, meaning Honda, have followed a line of development which was not the right one for some time. Moreover, as regards the tyres, Bridgestone has made a big step forward. Now we have to make a major step forward to get to their level. We fully trust in the rider and we think that Dani, with a better set bike and a small improvement on the tyres will be where he has to be. That's completely clear to all of us. We trust both in Honda and in Michelin, we know that they are going to react and that they will give us what we need. Meanwhile, the only thing we can do is what we do, trying to make it as good as we can and hope for times to change.

How would you describe Dani as a rider?

Alberto Puig:
I've said it many times. I think that Dani is one of those extraordinary riders. I sincerely believe it; he is a very special rider. And I won't get tired of repeating it, because that's what I think. He is a rider with a special intuition for this and we just have to wait that everything gets back in its place and to have the bike we need. Then we will see again what we can do with this guy.

And how would you describe him as a person?

Alberto Puig:
He is the type of person we like. He doesn't speak much, he's humble, and comes from a humble, hard-working family. He is not pretentious at all. He always tries to avoid crowds because he is quite introverted. But he's the best friend of his friends. Outside the races he is very calm, very normal. Very professional, despite there being many people who do not understand his way to understand races. Very professional as regards the technical aspect and the work, this is what he's here for.

Turning to the 125cc class, you have a young British rider in the form of Bradley Smith - now in his second year at Repsol Honda. How would you describe Bradley as a rider?

Alberto Puig:
I think that he is a mega-intelligent young guy. You tell him something and he understands everything right away. He is bright. He started at the academy with Dorna, he has been following the right steps and I think that this kid gets where he gets because of his natural talent and because of his own analysis. That's how he gets the results.

And as a person?

Alberto Puig:
He is English, something I like. He is a discreet young man, cold, but at the same very well-educated, polite and little interested in getting himself noticed.

Britain hasn't had a leading grand prix rider for over ten years. Do you think that Smith, your discovery from the MotoGP Academy, could mean the end of that drought?

Alberto Puig:
We have been working on that, we want to let Bradley be the one who will make English motorcycling and its large tradition recover its position. We think he can. We think that Bradley should take that direction.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Puig, Portuguese MotoGP, 2006
Puig and Pedrosa, Qatar MotoGP Race 2007
Puig, Qatar MotoGP test, 2007
Nicky Hayden - A tribute
Private testing action from Barcelona
Morning (left) and afternoon (right) lap times from Weds at Barcelona test
Marquez fall at private Barcelona test
Barcelona Circuit of Catalunya chicane final sector
New Catalunya chicane during private test
New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
Pedrosa, Zarco, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Baz, French MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Iannone, French MotoGP 2017
Folger, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017

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