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Alberto Puig recalls his last race at the Mazda Raceway

Alberto Puig recalls his last race at the Mazda Raceway

Alberto Puig recalls his last race at the Mazda Raceway

With more than 11 years having passed since the last motorcycle world championship visit to the United States, MotoGP will return this year with the much anticipated Red Bull US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. Manager of the 250cc Telefónica Movistar team Alberto Puig – who manages 250cc World Champion Dani Pedrosa and Japanese rider Hiroshi Aoyama – was one of the contenders of that final US appointment in 1994.

Then enrolled in the Honda Pons team, Puig managed to take seventh position at the demanding California circuit. "I don't remember too much about the race because it has been many years, but yes I finished in seventh position. What has stayed with me is the memory of falling during the practice session. I came off and hit a fence and, the truth, I was surprised that I came out of it uninjured as I thought I'd done a lot of damage."

Regarding the characteristics of the American track, Puig emphasizes the difficulties presented by the tough Mazda Raceway, a circuit that demands a lot from those who race on it.

"It's a small, narrow circuit with short runs, which makes it a lot of fun. It makes riders work very hard – you have to be moving about on the motor all the time and physically that's very demanding. I do not know of all the modifications that have been carried out, but from those I have heard about, they have left the circuit in great condition. The race will surely be very even, with various riders having opportunities until the end."

The former rider also has a fondness for the climate and atmosphere at the American venue and believes it will be evident during the long-await GP.

"The climate is very good, very stable and therefore I'm almost positive that the weather will be nice, it's important for the race and for the fans. There they live it, perhaps, a little bit different, many arrive with caravans and motorhomes and this creates a great environment around the circuit.

"Certainly the American riders will be out to make their mark at their home track, but the Europeans will not stay behind. However, the extra motivation of the North Americans to perform well should be very good for the race, increasing the level of competition even further."

Puig was very pleased to see the American venue added back onto the World Championship calendar, recognizing the value it will bring back to sport.

"We all agree on the importance of having a GP in the United States. It's very important for the sport and for the Championship. It would be fantastic if it continued and every year the calendar included a GP over there."


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