Ducati MotoGP sporting director Paolo Ciabatti has accused his Honda counterpart Alberto Puig of misinterpreting his statements in order to manufacturer controversy.
Ciabatti was referring to Puig’s interview given to El Confidencial, in which the Spaniard attacked Ducati for implying that its recent MotoGP success would have been impossible without five-time premier class champion Marc Marquez.
“I think Ciabatti should see all the 500cc and MotoGP races Honda has won, all the titles,” said Puig.
“[He should] go over history, and probably [he] would not see it this way.
“What is clear is that Ducati, after all the effort they are doing – which is exhaustive and has much merit – has won a single championship, which as everyone knows was with Casey Stoner [in 2007].
“Ducati has put in a huge effort in recent times with the current technical regulations, but for now, they have won nothing.”
In response to Puig’s statements, Ciabatti said he felt the Honda boss twisted his words in order to “attack” Ducati.
He reiterated his belief that Honda’s MotoGP record would look very different without Marquez, and that without him the Japanese brand would be still searching for a first title since 2011.
“What Puig does is misinterpret my statements with the intention of creating controversy,” Ciabatti told Autosport.
“In this way, you can attack Ducati for free.
“I simply note an irrefutable fact, which is the role played by Marc in the victories and championships Honda has accumulated since he made his debut in MotoGP in 2013.
“With my utmost respect for Honda, its numbers would have been very different without Marquez despite having had two great riders like Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow.”
Marquez has won five of the last six MotoGP titles, and looks well on his way to a sixth championship after victory in last weekend’s German Grand Prix – his fifth of the season – netted him a 58-point lead over nearest rival Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati.
Despite his dominance so far, 2019 has proven difficult for all Honda riders, with the current bike criticised as harder to ride than its predecessor.
Only Crutchlow of the three works riders has made it to the podium this year alongside Marquez, while Jorge Lorenzo is yet to even score a top 10 finish as he struggles to adapt to the RC213V.