In a long interview that was published in Spanish newspaper Marca, Valentino Rossi’s legendary crewchief Jeremy Burgess was asked if Rossi still has a chance of winning the world title and he said, “It would be a wonderful dream, and a small miracle… “Valentino has already won seven titles in the premier class, and the chances of that re-occuring is shrinking. We must accept it …”
“When you’re young you have certain characteristics like courage and the need to take risks that slowly disappears when you become older. At a certain point you need to feel more at ease, more relaxed and in sports even that 1% makes the difference.”
In today’s pre-event press conference at the Catalunya circuit Rossi was asked about ‘Jerry’s’ comment on the age factor and the Italian made light of it.
“Mine or his?” laughed Rossi, who then became more serious. “We must be realistic, to win the world championship will be very difficult, because there are three riders who are very fast, and we have to add Crutchlow. I still believe that I can improve, but it is not easy to regain confidence after two difficult years. Working on the details we still have room for improvement, but the title is still far away.”
Catalunya was where Rossi beat Jorge Lorenzo in a stunning last turn pass in 2009, and the Italian was was also asked if he could repeat it this weekend.
If Jorge waits for me, yes!” laughed Rossi “He’s too fast!” and a smiling Lorenzo responded, “I’m sorry I cannot wait! But maybe you are faster than me this weekend…”
MotoGP’s first free practice at the Catalunya circuit starts tomorrow morning at 9:55 am (CET).
Valentino Rossi’s two-year debacle in Ducati has left many wondering if it was him or the Desmosedici that wasn’t competitive (we’ll probably find out in the post race test at Valencia at the end of the season). In an interview with the MotoGP.com website, Rossi once again confirmed the prinicpal problem that he has had, is lack of front end feeling:
This experience, this adventure with Ducati was very difficult already from the start. And unfortunately we were not able to fix our problem during this year and a half, and I was never competitive with this bike. We are not able to create enough grip from the front tyre and enough contact on the ground. This was the biggest problem from the Valencia test in 2010, and unfortunately after almost two years we have more or less the same problem.”
In an interview with Motorsport Magazine last July, Valentino Rossi’s legendary crewchief Jeremy Burgess (who wrenched for riders of the caliber of Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan, Freddie Spencer and Randy Mamola) went a little farther in clarifying the development situation in Ducati:
One of the hottest stories ahead of this weekend’s Indianapolis GP is MCN’s interview with reigning World Champion Casey Stoner, which will no doubt make this mid August summer day even hotter and turn tomorrow’s pre-event press conference into a media frenzy.
The Australian launched a brutally honest and very highly critical attack against Valentino Rossi and his two-year, very dismal and almost resultless seasons in Ducati, which finally forced the Italian to swallow his pride and return to Yamaha.
There has never been any good blood between the two especiallly after Stoner took the 2007 crown (and the Australian’s boundless talent wasn’t immediately recognized) and things went even further downhill after the stunning 2008 Laguna Seca race, and the media warfare which Rossi has tried to use to his advantage against his rivals, has never worked against the prickly Australian who has a long memory and not so forgiving character.
Some of Stoner’s scathing comments include, “I think he’s eating enough humble pie at the moment.” and “I just feel completely sorry for Ducat that he has gone there and done nothing but complain about the bike and obviously they now have a bike that can do well because he keeps getting beaten by Nicky and Hector (Barbera) and that is nothing to be proud of.”
While rumors regarding Casey Stoner retiring at the end of the season came from the Spanish and Italian press - and was shot down by the 2011 World Champion, this new rumor regarding Valentino Rossi comes from the English media.
According to the The Telegraph’s inside sources Rossi is going to retire at the end of the 2012 season before his legendary status is even further tainted.
Apparently the rumors are based Rossi hasn’t gotten over his 2010 injuries (more likely his shoulder, than his leg) and that Jeremy Burgess will be leaving for personal reasons.
This speculation however clashes with the damage control interview that Rossi did with father Graziano on Le Iene following his post-race outburst at Qatar, where Rossi Sr. said his son would continue for two, three or more years in MotoGP before switching to World Superbikes.
Rossi is at crossroads in his career, he can’t ride the Ducati to its fullest potential, sponsors are getting impatient and he is getting older in a young man’s game and neither Yamaha or Honda top brass seem willing to have him back in their line-up.
Expect to hear a firm denial to these rumors in the next few hours - just as soon as an out scooped Italian media catches up on the Telegraph’s story and contacts Rossi.
Sometimes you wonder if the GP Commission ever remembers why they proposed certain rule changes in the past.
Take the reason why MotoGP racing switched from 1000cc to the 800cc displacement in the first place - one of which was that they were afraid of the top speeds riders could reach - which the riders compensating for with faster entry and corner exits on the 800s and now six years laters and even more prototype development they’ve moved exactly back to the same situation and according to Jeremy Burgess this sucks.
Actually the legendary crew chief didn’t say it sucks, but he did say it is a folly. In an exclusive interview with Adelaide Advertiser Burgess said, “These (1000cc) are car engines now that we are putting into a motorcycle. On the fastest circuits, a rider slip-streaming another with just a breath of a tail wind will top 360km/h.”
Top speeds have also been worrying Jorge Lorenzo - who has been called a pussy by racing fans for putting this thought forward during the pre-season, but the former World Champion knows that on tracks like Mugello these speeds can be reached - Dani Pedrosa on his Honda at Mugello in 2009 hit the top speed of 349.3km/h (217.1mph).
Burgess is no longer impressed by the 1000s and thinks that MotoGP should be limited to 600cc prototype racing machines something he’s often mentioned in the past and while worrying about the future of MotoGP racing, he also took a dig at Dorna, “The people getting MotoGP on television shouldn’t be running the rule book.”
Maybe the Australian crew chief doesn’t think that MotoGP’s Corrado Cecchinelli who Dorna entrusted to help draft the rules isn’t doing his technical advisory job very well.
Ducati’s problems were exacerbated ten fold at Indianapolis and Alessandro Cicognani, Ducati Corse MotoGP Project Manager blames it all on the tires, while Jeremy Burgess, Valentino Rossi’s legendary crewchief previews the GP Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini at the Misano World circuit, which is important race for the Italian team describing Rossi’s supposedly strong points on this particular track and one of the problems that they may encounter this upcoming weekend.
Rossi in his preview of the race looks like he’s already preparing his fans that Misano won’t be a breakthrough for him nor Ducati, while Nicky Hayden is worried about temperatures (Misano is expecting a high of 31°C on Sunday) because the higher the surface temperatures, the harder it is to ride the D16.
“We’ll be racing in front of our home fans at Misano, and obviously we’d like to do better than we have at recent races,” commented Valentino Rossi. “Indianapolis was very difficult, and we would have preferred to arrive here in better shape, but we’re aware that much of our work is aimed toward the future. For the moment, we must take into account the possibility that our results won’t be satisfying, first for us but also for our fans. We’re all working at our maximum, both at the track and in the company, and in the meantime, we’ll try to do as well as the current situation allows.”
“Indy was a bad race, but some how, some way, you’ve got to try to get over it and move on,” said Nicky Hayden. “Misano has been a tough track for me, because it seems like I can’t ever get through the first corner. It would be nice to catch a bit of a break, because I don’t feel like we’re always getting the results we deserve. We learned a lot about the new bike in Indy, so I hope we’ve got a good starting point there. We’ll see what the weather’s going to do. Hopefully it won’t be too hot, as that makes things more difficult for us. Anyway, we need to do our best and try to improve our bike.”
Valentino Rossi will have to face this weekend’s Mugello GP be without his legendary crew chief Jeremy Burgess, as the Australian has flown home to be with his wife Claudine who has been diagnosed with a serious illness, and is undergoing tests and possible surgery in Australia.
‘The Godmaker’ as Motorcyclist called him, has helped Rossi win seven world titles, Mick Doohan five and Wayne Gardner one, will be temporarily replaced by Max Bartolini, Ducati’s technical manager, while Fabiano Sterlacchini from Pramac Ducati will fill in for Bartolini as Loris Capirossi will be missing his home race due to injuries sustained at Assen last weekend.
Burgess is expected to be back for the Sachsenring GP.
“First of all I’d like to wish good luck to Jeremy, who won’t be able to join us this weekend due to very important personal reasons,” said Rossi. “We’ll miss him very much in the garage, but we look forward to seeing him at the Sachsenring. In the meantime, we must try to do well at Mugello. We’ve ridden there with the GP12, but because our bike is an 800, it responds a little differently to adjustments, and it’s also in its first phase of development. It will be vital to quickly find the right path for the setup, as it’s important that we improve in every session in order to qualify in a good position. The track is one of my favorites, and I’ve always done pretty well there. Returning after last year’s accident is no problem for me, because I enjoyed riding there during the recent tests, as I always do. I hope there will be a big crowd and that I’ll be able to do better than we’ve managed until now, because this is a very important race.”
Rossi has won at the Mugello seven consecutive times from 2002 to 2008, taking a third spot in 2009 and last year missed the race after breaking his leg during Saturday morning practice, stopping his record of 230 GP starts.
Jeremy Burgess in an exlusive interview with Enrico Borghi (who also co-authored Valentino Rossi autobiography “What if I had never tried it”) of Italy’s Motosprint magazine comes across as usual; pragmatic, calm and almost seraphic in the way he talks about his new, and what we consider exciting adventure in Ducati, after eons of working with Japanese manufacturers.
The interview was done during the week that Valentino Rossi’s crew spent in Borgo Panigale early last month, learning about all the inner workings of the Italian GP bike and how Ducati Corse’s racing department works.
Burgess highlights on some things we’ve already read around the internet, admitting that he too was slightly surprised about his rider’s test times at Valencia, but once again confirms it was Rossi’s injured shoulder that hindered the lap times and that the Italian was physically drained.
Current 2010 MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has apparently asked for improvement to the Yamaha M1 engine, or things will be very difficult for the team next year. According to Valentino Rossi’s crew chief, Jeremy Burgess, departing with Rossi for Ducati, the M1 won’t be competitive next year without some significant changes.
According to what Lorenzo has said to Yamaha, the biggest update that needs to be made to the M1 is the acceleration, followed by rear tyre grip. Burgess says overall horsepower and acceleration needs to be improved in what will mark the last season of 800cc bikes for MotoGP, before they move to 1000cc from 2012.
In light of that, it will be interesting to see what Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha can come up with in the coming year. Despite impressive performances from Lorenzo all year, Honda and Ducati were often hot on the heels of the Yamaha rider. With the departure of Valentino Rossi it will also be interesting to see whether the Yamaha team will be hurt by a lack of development expertise from its riders. Then there’s also Ben Spies to be reckoned with, so we’re expecting an interesting 2011 with the hope that the status quo might be shaken up a little.
Source | MCN
One of the big questions that was left hanging yesterday after Ducati announced their not so secret two year deal with Valentino Rossi was whether Rossi would be bringing his legendary crewchief Jeremy Burgess and the rest of his Yamaha squad to Borgo Panigale
Ducati’s CEO Gabriele Del Torchio fended off the question with: “It is too early to say. At the moment we have finalised an agreement with him. Wait and see. It is mainly a decision that we will leave to Valentino.” however it seems that the famous crewchief is still pretty well undecided about his future.
Speaking to gpweek.com at Brno, Burgess candidly admitted, “I honestly don’t know yet” and added, “I don’t think I could commit for six more years, which would be needed. Perhaps I’ll go back to Australia and support a local young rider.”