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Alberto Puig, Dani Pedrosa’s manager and a key figure in the Repsol Honda pitbox, has given his views on the MotoGP regulation changes made by the FIM this week.
Dani Pedrosa’s mentor and manager Alberto Puig is taking a cautious approach in his evaluation of this week’s MotoGP rule changes, ratified by the FIM in Switzerland on Wednesday with the intention of reducing costs in the World Championship.
“We can’t really say too much until we see the measures in practice,” Puig told motogp.com. “The changes have been made as an attempt to make things cheaper for everyone and we now have to wait and see how things go at a technical level.”
”One obvious thing is that the bikes don’t have to be brand new each season,” Puig added. “If we can save ourselves a bit of investment in that area to make things simpler then it would be fine, because the riders are going to compete with whatever machinery they get given. Where safety is concerned, the more we can provide to prevent crashes, the better it is for the riders. I don’t think the measures that have been approved now are at odds with that, but is difficult to make a judgment yet, before seeing what happens.”
Of the new rules announced this week, one which Puig has questioned relates to the reduced amount of post-race tests this season - and the use of test riders only in the two which remain on the calendar at Barcelona and Brno.
He stated, “I don’t really understand the reduction of the tests and that only test riders can participate in them, because normally those test riders are three or four seconds off the main riders’ pace. I’m not sure that the conclusions the factories will draw from those tests will really be clear. But that is just a personal opinion.”
Asked about the combined effect the new rules could have on the World Championship scene as a whole, in conjunction with the single tyre supplier regulation also introduced over winter, Puig replied, “The single tyre supplier rule seems like a wise move to me. Everyone will be on the same tyres and this will eliminate certain complaints and differences, although we already knew about that rule change.”
Puig continued, “Also I think the elimination of qualifying tyres is a good thing too, because although at an internal level with the teams it wasn’t a big issue, but during qualifying sessions we were mainly focused on grid positions and you lost most of your time thinking about that.”
“With these new rules in general we need to wait a while though, before making any judgements. I don’t think they will have a negative influence, I think they can only be a help, so let’s see how things go when the season starts.
The Repsol Honda man also gave an update on the condition of Pedrosa, who rode well in the first preseason test at Sepang, but had to leave Malaysia before the third and final day due to pain in his left knee which he injured late last year and had surgery on before Christmas.
“Dani has improved, we just thought it was good to leave early from the test at Sepang,” Puig explained. “In Qatar we will keep testing the bike and will keep in mind that as there are not many tests we have to make the most of our time there. We’ll work on everything that needs looking at, then move onto Jerez and wait for the championship to start.”
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