The fifth and penultimate episode of Behind the Dream - the web series created by Mauro Talamonti for Honda - is dedicated to Alberto Puig. Born in Barcelona 55 years ago, his life revolved around motorcycles. His father, passionate about two wheels, bought him a Honda Monkey 50. “I liked to ride and I was lucky that I was good at it,” then he started racing at the age of seven and in 1995 he became the first Spanish rider to win a 500 GP in Spain. Riders of the calibre of Crivillé, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Márquez and many others followed him, but that Sunday in 1995 in Jerez will remain in the history of Spanish motorcycling.
A serious accident at Le Mans, just four races later, followed by numerous complications and operations, forced him to follow another path in life and put an end to the dream he initially had. “I was too fast on that corner, but I really don’t know how I crashed,” he reflects on his crash. From there began the second part of his life in motorcycling, a phase in which pain and suffering were permanent companions, but they could not defeat him; instead of hating the sport, he decided to move on and start a new chapter.
“I cannot ride, but I can help people to ride, try to help young guys to do this activity.” And so this new chapter began with the Movistar Activa Cup project, which would lay the foundations for a new generation of Dorna-organized Talent Cups, such as the Asia Talent Cup and the British Talent Cup. The project produced many riders who would arrive at the World Championship and would have been protagonists, but in this period two great champions stand out like Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. Puig is not one who often shares his emotions, but he admits that he has been moved many times with these riders. “You get emotional sometimes, especially when you work with young kids.” Pedrosa and Puig bonded closely, writing a long success story as his manager, winning three 125cc and 250cc world titles and 31 MotoGP victories.
“The people can speak bullshit about Alberto, but to me he is crucial. Crucial because he is honest. When someone is honest and speaks straight to you, normally this person has not a lot of friends.” This is how Marc Marquez describes the figure of his controversial boss, who has been of great help to him every moment since he broke his humerus in Jerez in 2020. “I am connected to his problem,” he identified himself with Puig.
Alberto does not limit his motivational efforts only to "his” rider, but also to his entire team. In a difficult time for the most successful team in Grand Prix, many have expressed doubts that the Repsol Honda Team will be able to return to its past levels. Alberto's philosophy on the situation is pragmatic and simple "If you pretend it’s going to be paradise you don’t understand this racing field. We had very good years and we are suffering. How do I handle it? I just handle it. I am not pretending to be the guy that everybody loves. I am not acting in my life. How people see you is something you cannot control. And frankly, I don’t care.”
You can see the entire episode above.