It was actually even possible, the atmosphere in the Repsol Honda team continues to decline. At the pre-race press conference, Nicky Hayden was asked about the comments Alberto Puig had made in an interview with MotoGP.com, in which Puig claimed that Hayden couldn't set up a bike and was upset about the wall down the garage because it prevented the American from seeing Dani Pedrosa's data.
Hayden responded that he didn't "want to go back into having a cat and fight with words, back and forth with this guy and defend everything he said." But he stood by his assertion that Puig basically ran the HRC team. "I'm not even sure what I said once it got translated. I think I said something just about the fact that Puig basically runs our team, runs HRC at the moment. I really believe that. I do think Yamano has done a great job as a team manager. That guy is 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 need to quit being a hypocrite, I guess!"
But the Kentuckian did make his anger clear at Puig's assertions about Hayden's dislike of the wall, and the lack of data sharing. "That wall I couldn't care less about. It doesn't even faze me one little bit," Hayden said on the subject of the wall. But it was Puig's claims about data sharing that were the focus of most of Hayden's wrath: "Some of the stuff he says is a joke about sharing data and that's why I'm mad. I haven't seen his data for a long time. The truth is he sees everybody's data, so lets be clear about that. If it's me going fastest or Dovizioso going fastest, he sees everything."
The situation is not helped by Nicky Hayden's recent run of form. Since his team mate switched to Bridgestones, the American has scored two podiums and outscored Pedrosa by 47 to 24. With Sepang a track at which Pedrosa does well, that situation may change. But with Hayden using the extra power of the pneumatic valve engine to good effect, it will be a close run thing.