Pedrosa's manager slams Hayden

Published: 09 October 2008

Dani Pedrosa's manager Alberto Puig has launched a scathing attack on the Spaniard's Repsol Honda teammate Nicky Hayden.

The relationship between the pair has been strained since Pedrosa collided with Hayden at Estoril in 2006 in an incident that looked set to destroy the American's title hopes until Valentino Rossi's crash in the Valencia finale allowed Hayden to claim the crown after all.

When a wall was erected down the centre of the Honda garage at Indianapolis following Pedrosa's controversial mid-season switch to Bridgestone tyres, Hayden hinted that it would make little difference because there had been no exchange between the two riders' crews anyway.

But in an outspoken interview with the official MotoGP website, Puig has accused Hayden of relying on Pedrosa's set-ups and of harbouring jealousy towards the Spaniard. "All I can say is that Hayden may be bothered because now he can't access information and telemetry data from Dani's bike," Puig told motogp.com.

"With this information he was able to improve his riding, as he had all of Dani's references and now he can't use that any longer. He was simply copying as he never knew how to set-up a bike." A professional rider can't be complaining because he can't get access to the other rider's data, because finding what works best is his job, not the other rider's.

"Everybody knows that a racing team doesn't work like a football team. It involves two riders, but each is working for himself and the factory will support the rider who has the best chance. Because when it comes to winning, only one rider wins. It has always been like this and it always will be like this - anybody who says the opposite is just lying to look good."

Puig claimed that Hayden had never been an equal rival to Pedrosa. "Honestly, and without trying to offend anyone, there was never a rivalry in the garage," he said. "Nicky won the title when Dani was in his first MotoGP season, and since then there was no rivalry because he (Hayden) didn't get the results. On his own, Dani gained experience in this class and Nicky was always behind him, so Nicky has never been a serious rival."

Hayden will leave the Honda team for Ducati at the end of the season, with Andrea Dovizioso taking the place. The Italian has already intimated that he expects a difficult relationship with Pedrosa and Puig, who said Pedrosa will regard Dovizioso as just another rival.

"He has shown loyalty to the factory, and now he gets a perfect move for him," said Puig of Dovizioso. "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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