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Alberto Puig reflects on a dream come true for Dani Pedrosa and the Telefonica MoviStar Junior Team

Alberto Puig reflects on a dream come true for Dani Pedrosa and the Telefonica MoviStar Junior Team

Alberto Puig reflects on a dream come true for Dani Pedrosa and the Telefonica MoviStar Junior Team

Having taken a chief role in selecting Dani Pedrosa from the original Movistar Activa Cup in Spain, Alberto Puig can count himself as principally responsible for the progress of Dani Pedrosa from young prospect to mature World Champion. Puig has been Pedrosa's mentor ever since selecting him from the national talent search and has continued with him until his greatest triumph yet, the 125cc World Championship, which they enjoyed together in Malaysia after a stunning victory for the 18 year old.

In this exclusive interview, the former 500cc Grand Prix star opens his heart about the Telefonica MoviStar Junior Team project and lifts the lid on the character behind the steely faced youngster who has won fans all over the world, including Valentino Rossi, for his precise riding style and gritty determination:

Q: Alberto, after all those years of effort you have reached the finish line – how does it feel?

AP: Yes, it has been a few years of hard work – a project which began a long time ago, but with difficulties from the point of view that it started with young boys, with no experience, and the objective was to arrive here. It has been difficult but after some time it has been achieved and those who have been involved know how tough it has been on every level – both on the track and off it things have been complicated – but as we reach the finish line, as you say, it gives an enormous sense of happiness. Above all for Dani because we know how much he has put into it, but also for us because we know that all the effort we have put in has been well placed.

Q: As a person and a rider - how would you describe Dani?

AP: Well, first of all he is a person who doesn't like losing – he absolutely hates losing. He doesn't enjoy it at all – seriously, it affects him a lot. As a rider, I think he is very easy to describe – he was clearly the fastest. He is obviously the quickest rider in the category. He also has a series of very good attributes, which are that he is very serious about his work, he is a guy with an extreme capacity for concentration - I mean, incredible… he never gives in, he always fights with what he's got and I think this is what has carried him to the title. Apart from that I think he was tremendously keen to win and he didn't drop his guard for one second. Above all, apart from his psychological strength, he has the ability to ride a motorcycle quickly. Without that, it is very difficult to achieve anything.

Q: Having been forced to retire from racing yourself, how satisfying is this achievement for you personally?

AP: I have done my job as well as I could and as well as I knew how and I know, because I know this sport, that in racing you have to work hard and nobody will give you anything for free. With the experience I have from many years as a racer I was able to do this work for him. At the same time I am very conscious that the person who won the title was him and the fundamental part of any of these stories is the rider. I am of the opinion that a good rider makes good the people around him – a good rider makes a good mechanic…So, evidently he has helped us a lot, you know… We have fought for him – we have fought to our maximum for him and he knows that. We fought just as much as he fought on the bike, the two things came together and the result was perfect. That's the way it is.

Check out this interview in its full and original version, along with dramatic images of Dani Pedrosa's title winning season, by clicking the video link on the right of this page.

125cc, 2003, Dani Pedrosa

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