In the fifth part of MCN’s exclusive series of Stoner memories, Valentino Rossi’s legendary crew chief Jerry Burgess gives his thoughts on his no-nonsense compatriot.
“I think we all know Casey is special and enormously gifted on a motorcycle, When I think of Casey I still think of that young and fearless guy crashing that 250 that went on forever in South Africa in 2002.
"It was only his second race on a 250 and he was leading and you could see the kid had talent and he was right on it from the start. None of us had even seen him before and look where he ended up.
"He’s won races in every class and his record speaks for itself. We’ll miss him that’s for sure.
"A lot of what he says about the sport is very true. These bikes don’t need to be dumbed down. You need to be the best in the world to ride them and don’t dull them down to something else.
"Casey and the Americans had that attitude where it was you don’t have to be the nicest guy in the world. They don’t come to MotoGP to be recognised, they come here to win and in that respect he has done that. He wins well and he rides hard and you can’t ignore results like Casey has got.”