In many ways, the appointment of Alberto Puig as Repsol Honda team manager is both surprising, and a logical choice. Puig was both the obvious person to run the Repsol Honda team, as an experienced team manager with a long association with Honda, but someone with a complicated history with the team's existing riders, having previously managed Dani Pedrosa, and crossed swords with Marc Márquez' manager Emilio Alzamora.
The Sepang test was the first time the Spaniard had a chance to talk to the racing press since his appointment. In a press conference with some of the assembled media who had turned up early, Puig addressed a broad range of topics. He talked about the challenges he sees in the Repsol Honda team, and his new role as its manager. He gave his perspective on managing relationships with the riders.
But Puig also shared his vision on racing, and the key ingredients in racing success. He spoke about how he sees the rider contract situation developing. And he also talked about Honda's main focus at this particular MotoGP test, telling us that the main objective will be to choose an engine for the rest of the season.
Here is what Puig had to say:
Q: Were you surprised when Honda appointed you manager?
Alberto Puig: I've been many years with Honda, so it was a possibility that people who are already involved can do more jobs in the future. So I was there at that time, and this is it. It's nothing new or something that couldn't happen. Normally I think that when you are in an environment and you have some years of experience in some areas, you have a possibility to get new opportunities and new challenges. This is what I think.