Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jeremy Burgess: ‘Mick Doohan crushed his opposition before he got on the bike…’

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Master tuner Jeremy Burgess talks about five-time 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ and fellow Australian, Mick Doohan...
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Jeremy Burgess, who’s been Valentino Rossi’s crew chief for the last 10 years, has pretty much seen it all when it comes to motorcycle racing. He has, in the past, worked with Randy Mamola, Freddie Spencer, Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan, so we guess if there’s one man who knows a thing or two about MotoGP and about MotoGP riders, it’s Burgess.

Superbike Planet recently did an extensive interview with Jeremy, where the master tuner talks about his experiences with various top riders over the last three decades. While the whole thing is incredibly interesting, what really makes us smile is what Burgess has to say about one of our all-time favourite riders – Mick Doohan. Here are a few excerpts:

Mick Doohan had confidence, and he crushed his opposition before he even got on the bike. I mean, he didn't talk to them in the paddock. He was awesome in that respect. And he had to qualify pole position. It didn't matter that he went into the first corner in sixth place, he had to be in pole position. We used to tell him, ‘Mick, if you're on the front row, it'll be okay.’ That wasn't anywhere near good enough.’

‘With Wayne Gardner, you would have to go and tell him ‘You can beat those guys. You beat them last week. You can do it. You can do it. You can do it.’ If you said anything like that to Mick Doohan, he'd look at you, and he'd look down at you, and he'd say, ‘What, don't you think I can do it?!’ That was it. Wayne needed to be pumped up. You mention that to Mick, it was like a negative. It wasn't a positive. Polar opposites in that respect.’

‘Mick always wanted to be two seconds faster than his ability allowed, and that caused a few crashes. But a person like myself cannot teach any rider how to ride a motorcycle. They have to learn that from their fellow competitors. And for Mick, 1994 was where it started…’

See the full interview on Superbike Planet

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