Although Hayden hasn't won a race since 2006, he remains Honda's most recent MotoGP champion, with Pedrosa finishing second in 2007 and currently third in the 2008 standings with two rounds to go.
Hayden will switch to Ducati next season when Pedrosa, Honda's only MotoGP race winner since 2006 with four victories on the RC212V, will be partnered by Andrea Dovizioso. Puig admitted that Pedrosa is under pressure to secure the title.
"For sure we didn't get the results we expected or that Honda expected this year. It happened to Hayden this year and they eventually got rid of him, and it could also happen to Dani Pedrosa at some point if he doesn't get the results," admitted Puig. "For a manufacturer such as Honda, all that counts is getting the title. Any professional rider is aware of this, and like in Hayden´s case, you should know that what makes the difference is not the fact that your crew is doing more or less or saying this and that, but what the rider is able to do on the track every Sunday."
Puig also responded to claims that he runs the Repsol Honda garage.
"In my opinion, those who say that just lack respect to Honda and the work that they do," he replied. "All I can do is bring my experience of racing like Honda has asked me to do, as I've been working for a long time with Pedrosa and Honda, forming the 125cc and 250cc teams and winning three titles with them. If you refer to Hayden saying that I'm the one who's in charge or used to be in charge, then he has to understand that in this job and in this paddock, anyone who believes he is in charge of anything is simply wrong. Nobody has control over things or is in charge of anything - results decide everything and put the people in the place they are."
And what of Dovizioso's promotion to the factory Honda team in 2009?
"It is a logical step for a rider who has ridden for Honda his entire career, through 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP. [Dovizioso] has shown loyalty to the factory, and now he gets a perfect move for him," he said. "As for how it will affect us? It really won't change much and won't affect our way of working. He will be another rival on the track."
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