Valentino Rossi’s legendary ex-crew chief Jerry Burgess says he has not seen anybody capable of bridging the gap that exists between MotoGP’s elite top four and the chasing pack.
Only six of the 54 podiums up for grabs in 2014 went to a rider outside of the fantastic four that includes Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
And Burgess, who worked with Italian Rossi for 14 years before he was axed at the end of 2013, fears the gulf between the top four and the rest of the premier class field is getting bigger.
Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow, Aleix Espargaro, Alvaro Bautista and Bradley Smith were the five to have broken the factory quartet’s monopoly on the podium but you have to go all the way back to 2006 in Estoril for the last time a non-factory rider won a premier class race.
And Burgess told MCN: “I haven’t seen anybody out there to take the fight to the top four. The old guys are going seriously fast and this is where Pol (Espargaro), Bradley (Smith), Stefan (Bradl) and Scott (Redding) have all got to understand it is up to them to shuffle a long and close the gap. There are no miracles. It comes from hard work and understanding. The thing that worries me most about the sport is the gap between fourth and the rest. That’s a massive void and that needs to be closed up. I’m hoping Jack Miller’s move to bypass Moto2 might show that Moto2 might not be as important as some people think it is in terms of developing MotoGP riders. It maybe an advantage to improve the standard of the bike in Moto2 to get closer to a MotoGP bike rather than something that is not relevant to the class below or above. If Jack’s move works then what’s the point in having Moto2? To me the riders are far better than the bikes they are riding. It is perhaps up to the powers that be to improve the performance of the Moto2 bikes to make them more relevant for the transition to MotoGP. The problem may not be the riders at all but it maybe the quality of the bike.”