New Role For Alberto Puig: No Longer Pedrosa's Manager, Now Honda's Talent Spotter

Alberto Puig is to take on a new role inside Honda. Brought into HRC as advisor to Dani Pedrosa, the former 500cc race winner is to focus his efforts more on talent development for Honda, starting with the Asia Talent Cup.

Puig has a long and very successful history of spotting and developing talent. The Spaniard was the driving force behind the MotoGP Academy, the forerunner of Red Bull Rookies Cup, and before that, had worked with Telefonica Movistar in the Spanish championship. That work had produced a string of highly successful riders in various classes, including several world champions. Alongside Dani Pedrosa, Puig was responsible for Casey Stoner, Julian Simon, Bradley Smith, Joan Lascorz and Leon Camier.

Having Puig work in the Asia Talent Cup is a clever move for Honda. The Japanese company is keenly aware of the importance of the Asian market for its sales, and bringing on talent from the region will be a powerful marketing tool. HRC also has a long history of backing Japanese riders in Grand Prix racing, and after a relatively lean period for Japanese talent, having Puig help spot and develop them early should help bring more fast young Japanese riders into the sport.

The career switch for Puig means that he will no longer be at Dani Pedrosa's side at every race, bringing to an end a long period of collaboration. But as Pedrosa gained more experience each year, he had less need of Puig. In a recent interview with Israeli TV commentator and journalist Tammy Gorali, Puig explained that he had less and less to teach to Pedrosa. The riding ability of the triple world champion had long since exceeded Puig's ability to offer advice for improvement, and his racecraft and tactical knowledge had also surpassed that of Puig.

There has been a marked change in Pedrosa in the past couple of years, the Spaniard growing more confident and a little more relaxed, and that maturity is another factor in Pedrosa no longer needing the support of Puig. Pedrosa will not be alone at the track, as his father travels to every race with him.

Below is the press release issued by HRC on Puig's new role:

New role for Alberto Puig in Honda Racing Corporation

Alberto Puig, who has been working with HRC since 2006 as Dani Pedrosa's advisor, will face a new challenge starting from 2014.

Alberto will undertake a new role as a supervisor for several of HRC's activities including the Asia Talent Cup and recruitment and management of young riders. Due to his new role, Alberto won’t follow Dani during the race weekend where he's been a common figure alongside the Spanish rider, who he has tracked since the very beginning of his career. Apart from Alberto, Dani's team will remain same as in 2013.

Shuhei Nakamoto:

"We are very happy to increase Alberto's role in HRC and make use of his extensive knowledge in this World. He is a valuable asset to Honda Racing and we must utilise him and benefit from his wealth of experience. He is a respected member of the MotoGP paddock and I believe this will be good new challenge for him"

Alberto Puig:

“This is an exciting new challenge for me with HRC and i am very grateful for the opportunity. Initially i will focus on the new Asian Cup but then as my role grows and I will assist with young riders and I will do my best to help HRC as much as possible. Regarding Dani, I hope he can fulfil his dream, and looking back over these years I can only be proud of what is left behind with all the titles in the 125cc and 250cc class and all the MotoGP victories"

Dani Pedrosa:

"After many years working together on track with Alberto, next season he will not be by my side in the garage. He will be taking care of new projects and I feel that he has already given me so much that now it is time to change our relationship slightly. Anyway, I know that Alberto will be there for me if I need something, and this is the most important thing"

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Dani needs a change to win the title next season so this may be what the doctor ordered! Not a Puig fan but he knows his stuff plus this HRC/Repsol Team the breath of fresh air they desperately need inside of the garage with Puig not being there! The tension inside the Repsol garage should be decreased next season as far as management battles are concerned. Well Done HRC for solving a tense problem meanwhile increasing your rider talent pool scout(s)!

Seems a natural step forward for HRC following Puig's bringing Spanish press into the garage to photo DP26's swingarm following the rear wheel sensor "incident."
This is at least a year overdue, and good to see Puig where he is of use. Anyone think this was Puig's decision? Me either.

Did Pedrosa fired Puig? of course not, but has the same effect as Rossi's decision to change his Crew Chief. DP26 needs a change if he wants to win the title next year. This happens a lot in others sports as well, unfortunately.

is adhering to the "one svengali per team paddock" rule....with the new Champion having his own "Puig" to keep things astir....

There are just too many damn ways to take this news. I will only say things clearly were not working out as they were. A change was needed. But I still believe that Puig is not Dani's biggest issue. Dani is a grown man and not a little boy. A VETERAN of the Motogp series. His biggest issue is not the bike, not Puig, not the team, it is himself. His third swing and miss was this year. To a ROOKIE, (albeit an Alien to Aliens freak of nature talent and drive), but still a ROOKIE!!!

Even with that said, hope he does find something from within to bring him up for more wins like the end of 2012. Stunning performances. He has always had the talent and the speed. Just been missing that little extra edge that will take him over the top to be World Champion.

Dani Pedrosa is a great, world class racer. But he is destined to be the second coming of Randy Mamola. A world championship in the Moto GP class just isn't in the cards for him. The more I read about Alberto Puig, the more I find out about all the riders he has helped and mentored, the more I like him. I think this move for him is great. He needs a new challenge. Maybe this will help Dani get better motivated. Maybe not. We'll have to wait and see. I predict he will finish third again next year.

"The more I read about Alberto Puig, the more I find out about all the riders he has helped and mentored, the more I like him."

+ 1.

Puig doesn't deserve a tenth of the shitty things written about him by people who have no idea what the man has done for this sport and individual racers. Being a manager is a no-win role. Best to him and Dani in 2014.

Having an overbearing, control-freak personality like Alberto around 24/7 would be enough to put anyone in a slightly passive state of mind - something no successful racer needs or wants.

IMO, this needed to happen 5+ years ago. Better late than never, I suppose. I don't know that Peddles will win any titles, but I will predict that his riding will be a little bit more aggressive, and that he'll finish closer to the front in both individual races and the title chase.

Yes, Mr. Schwantz did give his own personal assessment of Dani's failing(s) to win the MotoGP title under Puig's "guidance"... Puig was very quick to give Kevin a written tongue lashing for him to mind his own business. Dani put his 2 cents into it aswell. However, I recall hearing that Mr.Suppo said that 2013 was a very important year for Dani, implying that Dani's seat may be up for grabs in 2015. Mr. Nakamoto understands the issues that Dani's had this year as is willing to see what Dani can do by the end of 2014. But has anybody ever noticed that... even Nakamoto doesn't spend time with Dani the way he did with Stoner and now Marquez! I don't think Mr.Nakamoto believes Dani has what it takes to beat Marquez or even Lorenzo. Nakamoto may try to get Lorenzo in 2015 to replace Dani. Or Bradl may get promoted to the Repsol Team, Hayden promoted to LCR, and J.Rea promoted to Aspar. Suppo likes J.Rea and wants to give him a shot in MotoGP fulltime. MotoGP is finally getting entertaining again... on and off the track. Bring on 2014/2015 already.

Honda has cut the umbilical cord to Pedrosa to watch him either win a championship or fade away and look for a ride elsewhere, and put a title capable rider on the second bike...return of Stoner? Lorenzo switches brands in 2015?

I see we're all being nice to Puig now. Fine.
I figure that like any hyper ambitious individual, he's done some good things and some bad things. As for this latest move, I wouldn't be surprised if Puig dumped Dani.

Puig has worked pretty hard in HRC to maintain Dani as their priority. He's probably pulled strings, called in favours, done whatever was necessary. Now he sees that it just isn't going to pay off, so finds another gig. And he seems to have done pretty well.

Asia is the brave new world, and Puig is poised to blaze the trails for HRC. Yes, I think he's done well.

The Alberto Lovefest is downright perplexing!
Perhaps people have forgotten how nasty an operator Puig can be? A quick interwebs search for 'Hayden hypocrite Puig' will refresh your memory. :)

But, IMO, Puig's past behavior IS entirely relevant to the conversation at hand. I'd argue that any 'good' he may have done for MotoGP as a whole was entirely incidental to the psychopathic pursuit of his own agenda. I have a hard time believing that Alberto relentlessly accumulated power and influence so that he could better "Help the Kids" in their struggles. No, he accumulated power and influence because power and influence is all people like him care about.

When Puig showed pictures of Dani's broken sensor, that was bizarre at best. Dani unfortunately was on the ground. He wasn't going to get those 16 or 20 points back, so why go forward to the press against your own team? In the end it was Honda that ended up with egg on their face with a 20 cent sensor on a million dollar bike. Perhaps this is Honda's way of saying, Thank you Alberto. Next time you want to help we have a nice recruiting job in Siberia.

Pug is a narcissist. Period. I admit my dislike of him started the way he handled the Hayden torpedoed incident and not admitting DP's mistake.
Watching him trackside and his antics just reinforces my opinion of him. Then the debacle with KS last year... Bottom line, the Marquez/Alzamora team showed him and DP up this year.
Honda is "rewarding" him out of the way for embarrassing them with the press. There may also be other behind the scenes we don't know about. Good riddance.
Maybe DP will do better... It's the only way he'll hold on to his ride for 2015.

25 wins in MotoGP, 15 wins in 250 including (2 w/c), 8 wins in 125 (1 w/c).

He may not win the MotoGP title, but Pedrosa has had a stellar career.