Alberto Puig: The Only Person Who Personally Attacked Nicky Hayden Now Runs The Factory Repsol Honda MotoGP Team

Puig told Stoner that he was to knock anyone like that out of the way or down in order to win.



Editor’s note: After the infamous incident where Dani Pedrosa knocked down the late Nicky Hayden at Estoril in 2006 (Pedrosa and Hayden were teammates, Hayden was leading the world championship) Alberto Puig–Pedrosa’s manager–reacted to global criticism of Pedrosa knocking down his teammates and championship leader by attacking and criticizing Nicky Hayden for the incident, which he said was Hayden’s fault even though Hayden was clearly leading when the pair entered the corner.

Puig further attacked Hayden in the Spanish press by criticizing Hayden’s skill and talent saying Hayden “doesn’t know how to set up a bike” and questioning his placement on the factory Honda MotoGP team. Puig’s attacks were published widely, including on the official web site.

At the time many suspected that Puig instructed Pedrosa that he take out Hayden, an allegation that Pedrosa denied.

After the Estoril incident, Hayden said that Puig was in effect now running the Repsol Honda MotoGP team. Therefor, after reading several of Puig’s attacks on himself or his side of the factory Honda MotoGP garage, Hayden had several stickers made, including one in the classic HRC logo which instead read PRC and had the words “Puig Racing Corporation” under it. Hayden applied one of these stickers on his MotoGP bike but was ordered by Honda to remove it.

Years later, after Casey Stoner retired from racing, he published an autobiography titled Pushing The Limits. In it Stoner writes of his relationship with Alberto Puig who he credited with helping him early in his racing career in Spain and the UK.

Stoner wrote of the time he worked with Puig where he (Stoner) finished a few positions back from the win. Stoner wrote that Puig asked him why he didn’t win. Stoner replied that it was the best the bike/tires would do and also he could not safely pass the riders in front of him.

According to Stoner’s own book, Puig told Stoner that he was to knock anyone like that out of the way or down in order to win.


Start Press Release

Honda Racing Corporation announce Alberto Puig as Team Manager of the Repsol Honda Team

Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to announce that Alberto Puig has been appointed as the new Team Manager at the Repsol Honda Team, beginning with the first MotoGP test of the year, at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit, 28-30 January.

Following a racing career that included a 500cc race win and a lengthy stint aboard Hondas, Puig established himself as one of the most respected managers in the motorcycling field. As HRC Advisor, his most recent role has been as Director of the Asia Talent Cup and British Talent Cup.

In his new position as Team Manager for the Repsol Honda Team, Puig will report directly to HRC Director-General Manager Race Operations, Management Division Tetsuhiro Kuwata. He and Technical Manager Takeo Yokoyama will be responsible for racing operations.

Tetsuhiro Kuwata
HRC Director – General Manager Race Operations Management Division

“We are happy for Alberto to assume a new role as Team Manager for the Repsol Honda Team. Alberto has already been a part of the HRC family for many years, first as a rider and then as an Advisor, ultimately managing the Asia Talent Cup, where he helped promising young riders to develop into the sport. We believe his skills and great expertise at the highest levels of international motorcycle racing, together with his long and successful relationship with HRC, will give a precious contribution to the Company and the Team, which is aiming to once again fight at the top of the MotoGP Championship. We give Alberto a warm ‘welcome aboard’ and wish him good luck in his work!”

Tetsuhiro Kuwata

Alberto Puig
Repsol Honda Team – Team Manager

“I’m very grateful to HRC for this opportunity they have given me with the Repsol Honda Team. I’ve been with Honda for the last 25 years of my professional career, first as a rider, then as a team manager in the smaller classes, and lately as a coach for many of the Asian riders Honda have around the world. To have the chance to be in this position in one of the most successful teams in the MotoGP championship is a very big honour for me, so I can only focus on giving my best back to Honda and on trying to help them to achieve their goals. I’m sure our riders will be ready when the time comes, and we as a team will also be ready to once again fight for the title, with humility but also with great determination.”


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