Saturday, October 10, 2009
Jeremy Burgess: ‘Valentino develops the bike, the other guy just rides it!’
Valentino Rossi’s chief mechanic at the Fiat Yamaha MotoGP team, Jeremy Burgess recently gave full credit to The Doctor for having developed the YZR-M1 into a competitive machine that other riders could also ride well, without the bike needing additional development work.
‘Valentino showed that he could win on a Honda that other riders could win on, and he could then take the Yamaha machine that no other riders could consistently win on and win on it,’ says Burgess, speaking to MotoGP. ‘It’s not as easy to develop the bike as it is to ride the bike. We have a rider in Valentino who develops the bike and we have on the other side of the garage one guy who just has to ride,’ he adds. [We wonder what Jorge Lorenzo would have to say to that!]
Moving on, Burgess also says he believes Rossi could race in MotoGP for another few years without too much trouble. ‘He is a young man. He’s 30 years-old, he has had a very clean, accident-free career and is in perfect physical condition. Being the phenomenon that he is, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he could continue racing until he is 35 or beyond. As long as he is competitive, he certainly will continue to race – I am sure of that,’ says Burgess.
Talking about his own plans for the future, Burgess implies that he might leave MotoGP when Rossi does. ‘When Valentino makes the decision that he no longer wants to continue racing, that will be the point where I will make my own decision about what I do in the future. I am 56 years of age, so if Valentino does four more years I will be 60 and we could make a decision then,’ he says.
‘To pair up myself with a young rider in his early 20s or late-teens would be like coupling a kid with his grandfather and I don’t think that combination would necessarily work as well as it has so far,’ says Burgess, when asked whether he might someday work with a younger rider.