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GP Week : Issue 33
>>Moto GPnews Hayden/Puig feud intensifies in Malaysian heat THE weather in Malaysia was baking hot … and so too the atmosphere in the factory Repsol Honda pit, as fuel was added to the war of words between 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa’s manager Alberto Puig. It began after the Australian GP, when a Spanish newspaper ran an interview with Hayden in which he said that Puig had too much influence with the factory team, and was effectively running it. As reported last week, Puig retaliated, with the help of the (usually neutral) official MotoGP web-site. He called Hayden “a hypocrite”, and accused him of copying Pedrosa’s bike settings “as he never knew how to set-up a bike.” In Malaysia, the sympathy was with Hayden, as he cheerfully stuck to his guns at the pre-event Press conference. The interview, he agreed, “certainly ruffled a few feathers. I don’t really want to go into having a cat fight with words, back and forth with this guy. “I’m not even sure once it got translated. But maybe I said something just about the fact that Puig basically runs our team, runs HRC at the moment. And I really believe that. I mean I do think Yamano has done a great job as a team manager and that guy’s in a tough, tough spot. I know he’s got a lot of heat coming at him from all directions, so… “That’s basically what I said. I’m not sure … I need to quit being the hypocrite, I guess,” he laughed. “You know, me and Dani hadn’t exactly set the world on fire this year. A team and Honda should work together, somewhat. You’re never going to work fully with your team- mate, because you want to beat him. But I think crew chiefs can work together. So some of the stuff he says is a joke. “I mean about all the sharing data … that’s why I’m mad. I haven’t seen Dani’s data for a long time, and the truth is he sees everybody’s data; be clear about that. If it’s me going fastest or if it’s Dovi going fastest, he sees everything.” Hayden leaves Honda for the factory Ducati team at the end of the season after his full six-year GP career has been with the official HRC team. But he remained up-beat about the team, and the dispute. Later, talking to English- speaking Press, he said: “It’s funny. Sure, you guys like it. I mean, talking about tyres is boring, let’s face it. That’s real when it gets personal. Who wants to read about a dirty track or front tyre compound? But guys calling out team-mates…” 15