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Alberto Puig was a rider before he made his name as a talent spotter – and now he is the Team Manager of the Repsol Honda Team. With a relationship with Honda stretching back more than 25 years, the appointment is fitting. In addition, Puig is the man credited with the discovery of one of Repsol Honda’s biggest talents: three-time World Champion Dani Pedrosa.
The evolution of the #RoadToMotoGP
But first, Puig was best known as the member of an elite club: Spaniards to have won in the 500cc category. There are only four members, with Puig joined by Alex Crivillé, Sete Gibernau and Carlos Checa.
Puig inspires a nation by winning in Jerez
Puig's debut in the World Championship came in the 250 category at Assen in 1987, where he came home 20th. He made five wildcard appearances that season, and scored points for the first time at Le Mans – where he ran as high as fifth and finished just outside the top ten in P11. The following year, on his debut with Honda, he made seven appearances and scored twice: 14th in Spain and eighth in Portugal. The following season he moved to Yamaha and did his first full season, taking seventh as his best result.
Ahead of the 1990 season, and again mid-1991, Puig suffered some injuries in the 250 category that caused him some setbacks. But in 1992 and 1993, he took three podiums and then moved up to the premier 500cc class with Honda the following year. 1994 was his best year; fifth by the end of the season and a podium finisher in Germany. He then went on to take his first and, as it transpired, only victory - becoming the first Spaniard to win his home race when he crossed the line first at Jerez in 1995.
Puig's love/hate relationship with the #FrenchGP
Disaster then struck. After three podiums in seven races, Puig suffered the worst injury of his career – crashing at Le Mans at more than 250km/h and seriously damaging his left leg. It ruined his season, but he was back on a bike the next year – and back on the podium in France, incredibly.
At the end of 1997, however, he left competition following the injury and instead moved to talent promotion, forming an important part of Dorna cups such as the Movistar Junior Cup and the MotoGP Academy – and discovering the likes of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. He was also Pedrosa’s manager, and one of the most recognisable faces in the paddock.
From the Asia Talent Cup to MotoGP™
Since then, Puig has been a key figure in Dorna’s talent promotion programs including the Asia Talent Cup, which began in 2014, and the British Talent Cup, which begins this season…as well as heading up the Asia Talent Team in the FIM CEV Repsol.
Make it or break it in the British Talent Cup
Now, a new challenge awaits at the helm of Repsol Honda.
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