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Puig surprised by prodigious Pedrosa

Puig surprised by prodigious Pedrosa

Puig surprised by prodigious Pedrosa

Alberto Puig has become used to surprises over the past couple of seasons. Since starting the Movistar Junior Cup project several years ago in Spain, the former 500cc Grand Prix racer could never have expected to uncover racing talent as prodigious as that of Dani Pedrosa, whom he guided to the 125cc World Championship within three seasons.

However, even Puig admits he has been taken aback by the speed of Pedrosa's adaptation to the 250cc series, made all the more remarkable considering that he missed part of preseason recovering from two broken ankles sustained in a crash at Phillip Island last October.

"The most surprising thing is probably the fact that he has recovered so quickly from the injuries he got in Australia," says Puig. "He couldn't train for practically the entire winter, and it was really tough because he began the season after just three or four tests and he'd never ridden the bike before.

"If he hadn't have had the accident, he has more than enough talent, and we hoped for a good season from him. But with the accident we thought it would be a little bit slower before he got to the top of the class with the best riders. He's recovered well though, and he's doing pretty well."

Pedrosa now leads the championship by 34 points from Randy De Puniet with seven rounds remaining but Puig insists the team's focus remains on his adaptation to the category, with thoughts of the title reserved for later in the season.

"We've tried to remain calm, you try to do things step by step and whatever happens, happens," he says. "The thing is though that even after the first race he was very quickly into first position, and that means that everything with the team just clicks into place, and we had to get ourselves up to the rider's standards. That's what we've tried to do and I think he's made progress that's never been seen before.

"Our objective this season wasn't to take the title, and that's what we've always said. If it comes then brilliant, but the objective was for Dani to learn both the bike and the category, and this is what we're doing. If we can do all this and win races, then that's perfect, but you mustn't get obsessed by this.

"So we're going to carry on as we are, and if we see that it's possible with a few races left, then for certain we'll try to use a bit of strategy and tactics. But as we say, there's nothing to celebrate yet and the season doesn't end until November. That's the team's philosophy anyway, and it's always going to stay like that."

To see this interview in its full and original version, including images from Dani Pedrosa's season so far, click the video link at the top of the page.

250cc, 2004, Dani Pedrosa

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