Alberto Puig played a major role in starting Dani Pedrosa's racing career, when he selected the youngster from hundreds of hopefuls in a Movistar talent search.

Puig steered Pedrosa's career during his record-breaking rise through 125 and 250GP, Pedrosa winning three titles and 23 races before joining MotoGP with Repsol Honda in 2006.

The pair remained together during what would be Pedrosa's three seasons most successful seasons in MotoGP - finishing as title runner-up in 2007, 2010 and 2012 - before parting ways at the end of 2013.

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Puig concentrated on running young rider development programmes for Honda and Dorna, while Pedrosa won a further six races (taking his premier-class total to 31) by the time Puig was named as the new factory Honda team manager for the start of this season.

That meant putting HRC's best interests first and, after so many years furthering Pedrosa's career, Puig would now have a hand in ending it.

With Marc Marquez leading the world championship, Pedrosa yet to break the top four (partly due to bad luck and injuries) and triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo knocking on the Repsol Honda door, the decision on paper was an obvious one.

"A top team wants to have the best riders, no? So we wanted to see how things were going during this season," said Puig, 

"I think Dani had a very long career with Honda and a lot of opportunities. After 13 years we wanted to see other possibilities. So we decided to try another rider.

"Lorenzo, as you know, is a champion in MotoGP and a very interesting option. There was an opportunity [to sign Lorenzo] and we took it. It was a company decision."

Reflecting on Pedrosa's career, Puig - himself a former grand prix winner - expressed admiration at how the #26 had overcome adversity in terms of his physical size. The 32-year-old is only 1.6m tall and weighs 51kg. A MotoGP bike weighs 157kg.

"I was there in the beginning [of Pedrosa's career] and I am here now," Puig acknowledged. "I think Dani did a very, very good career and he exits this paddock having accomplished more than many, many other riders. 

"He has many victories and I think he did a fantastic job.

"And if I have to mention one thing, I think he did a big effort because he is a really small guy. And he was fighting with a very big machine. 

"This for me is the most difficult thing that he had to handle. But out of his potential and technique he managed to do it. I think this is very impressive."

The most visible example of how Pedrosa adapted his technique to compensate for a lack of weight is by rapidly lifting the bike upright when applying the power through a corner, his body hanging off at a right angle to complete the turn (pictured).

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A Honda rider throughout his career and a grand prix winner in every seasons from 2002-2017, Pedrosa says he is interested in remaining involved with MotoGP in another capacity next season. 

Puig said that Honda test riding duties are a possibility.

"We are talking… [Dani] knows the opinion from Honda in case he wants to continue testing, which we really don’t know yet, because it's his life and we respect what he will do and the position he has taken," Puig said.

"It will be his decision if he wants to stay in Honda as a test rider or not. It's up to him."

Dani Pedrosa - Career Summary:

2018: MotoGP, 0 wins, 12th in championship*

2017: MotoGP, 2 wins, 4th in championship

2016: MotoGP, 1 win, 6th in championship

2015: MotoGP, 2 wins, 4th in championship

2014: MotoGP, 1 win, 4th in championship

2013: MotoGP, 3 wins, 3rd in championship

2012: MotoGP, 7 wins, 2nd in championship

2011: MotoGP, 3 wins, 4th in championship

2010: MotoGP, 4 wins, 2nd in championship

2009: MotoGP, 2 wins, 3rd in championship

2008: MotoGP, 2 wins, 3rd in championship

2007: MotoGP, 2 wins, 2nd in championship

2006: MotoGP, 2 wins, 5th in championship

2005: 250cc, 8 wins, 1st in championship

2004: 250cc, 7 wins, 1st in championship

2003: 125cc, 5 wins, 1st in championship

2002: 125cc, 3 wins, 3rd in championship

2001: 125cc, 0 wins, 8th in championship

* As of Sachsenring.

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