Valentino Rossi’s crew chief Jerry Burgess believes Jorge Lorenzo’s dominant victory in the opening MotoGP round in Qatar last Sunday was proof of how much Rossi has to improve to consistently battle with the Spaniard for victories in 2013.
Lorenzo might have made the perfect start to the defence of his crown with a runaway success at the Losail International Circuit, but Rossi and rookie Marc Marquez, who both stormed to the podium in an enthralling start to the season, stole the headlines.
Rossi fought his way back through from seventh to second but despite making a dream return to Yamaha, the 34-year-old admitted that despite an early mistake and a struggle to pass Stefan Bradl he would not have been able to challenge teammate Lorenzo.
Burgess told MCN: “Jorge is the world champion and he is not a champion because he cannot perform at a high level. He is the number one rider at the moment and he proved that again. It all looked a bit too easy and we have to improve our game if we are going to challenge Jorge."
Asked how Rossi would go about posing more of a threat to Lorenzo as the season unfolds, Burgess said: “I think Valentino will work it out over the next few races. We have to focus on doing the best we can.
"We have the same bike as Jorge, so we should be able to understand why he is quicker. To finish second to Jorge is no embarrassment and to beat the other guys after being four seconds behind was a good job."