Dani Pedrosa's manager and mentor Alberto Puig has issued a strongly worded response to criticism of his rider by 1993 world champion Kevin Schwantz.
Prior to the recent Austin MotoGP, in Schwantz's home state of Texas, quotes in the Spanish media suggested Schwantz felt Puig was a negative influence on triple MotoGP runner-up Pedrosa:
“Dani lacks nothing but he has too much, like Alberto Puig. Dani needs to reach another level by himself. He is like a child whose parents are holding him back.
“I like Dani, but he has been a factory Honda rider for eight years and never won anything. I would like him to prove me wrong [in future], but I don't think he will.”
Given Schwantz's comments were translated into Spanish there is some leeway for misinterpretation, but Puig was clearly unimpressed, penning a lengthy response, as published by Spanish website elmundo.es
Puig begins by comparing the career statistics of Pedrosa and Schwantz - Pedrosa ahead on overall wins (although 25-22 behind Schwantz for MotoGP/500cc victories) plus premier-class podiums and fastest laps.
“To say that Dani won nothing in eight years is typical of someone who does not know what he says and especially, it is very disrespectful.”
Puig adds that, like Schwantz, Pedrosa has suffered more than his fair share of injuries - then turns his attention to Schwantz's own 500cc title.
“Mr. Schwantz, Dani has not won this [MotoGP] title yet, but let me tell you something that you are not going to like... You do have that  title (which took eight years to win), but you won only because Wayne Rainey crashed at Misano and had to stop competing. If not, you would not have won that title.