11 months ago
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On Friday at the German GP, Repsol Honda Team Manager Alberto Puig sat down in a Press Conference with Tetsuhiro Kuwata (HRC Director – General Manager of Race Operations Management Division) to take stock of the season so far and to field some questions about Dani Pedrosa – who announced his retirement on Thursday – and Jorge Lorenzo, who joins the squad in 2019.
Covering everything from the technical to the contractual, here are some of the best soundbites:
“After 13 years in the team, we wanted to see other possibilities. Lorenzo is a Champion in MotoGP, and it was an interesting option. We wanted to see our bike with another rider. Dani had a long career in Honda, a lot of opportunities and we decided to try another rider.”
“Dani had a very good career. He leaves the paddock with a lot accomplished, more than many, many other riders. He’s one of the riders with the most wins. And one thing to pick out is he’s a really small guy with a big machine, and I think it’s very impressive. Yeah, it’s impressive.”
On the possibility of a test ride:
“We were talking about it, it’s always interesting. He knows the opinion from Honda so in case he wants to continue, testing – which we don’t know, because it’s his life and we respect his decisions – it will be his decision if he wants to stay in Honda to be a test rider or not.”
On Lorenzo’s arrival:
“Jorge has three MotoGP World Championships and we believe he has the potential to get good results with our bike, so we expect he will get to the level and race for wins as he did in the past. But of course you never know how a rider will adapt to a machine. It took him some time to adapt to the Ducati but then he won two races in a row. We expect he’ll be fast. How fast we don’t know, and when, we don’t know. But with his potential, he’s not coming to Honda just to be on track.”
On signing Lorenzo:
“Frankly speaking, the rider was there and we tried to take him. I don’t know what Ducati were thinking, and I don’t care. We don’t care. There was an opportunity and we took it.”
On Marquez’ reaction:
“Of course we informed Marc. And he answered in the way we expected he would answer.”
Cryptic? Given that Lorenzo will be on the other side of the garage next season, maybe not so cryptic – or negative. Watch more from Puig and Kuwata-san’s Press Conference below!
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Puig talks about Pedrosa, Lorenzo and the future of HRC
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