Burgess joy at Rossi deal

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Valentino Rossi’s crew chief Jerry Burgess reckons the Italian’s recent new deal with Yamaha’s factory team killed off any suggestion of any hangover from last year’s shock MotoGP defeat.

Rossi recently penned a one-year extension to his current Yamaha contract that will keep him on two until the end of 2008 at least.

And Burgess said: “I am very happy that’s the case. That allows us to clearly face the next two years with nothing to worry about.

“It also to me sends a message out that there is no doom and gloom about last year. We are back here for two years and we are going to race.

“Perhaps there are some out there who were hoping 2007 would be Valentino’s last year. But people were saying that about Mick Doohan too ‘thank God he’s gone’.

“But somebody else will always come a long. I think its great and its one less thing that ever becomes an issue.”

With Rossi now assured for the next two years, Burgess said Yamaha bosses should now possibly look to invest in young talent like some of its premier rivals have done to ensure a rider is ready to take over when the Italian does decide to hang up his leathers.

Current factory Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards is 33 now and not likely to be racing at the end of 2008, and Burgess added: “At the end of the day there seems to a trend of only two or three guys capable of winning and its just making sure you have one of them on a good bike.

“The encouraging thing is that there are three young guys in MotoGP. I don’t think investment in a young rider has to be in your own team.

“As long as the guy is out there getting experience in MotoGP then dare I say it like Formula One, it maybe a case of poaching the rider you want but it’s a case of providing an environment where that guy wants to come and ride your bike.

And he added: “Yamaha will look at a list of riders and like in the past you look at the guy who is number one. You put the pros and cons of him, is he available and keep on going down the list. But you want the best rider on you’re bike and where he comes from probably doesn’t matter anymore.”

Asked if Yamaha would have the audacity to try and snatch Dani Pedrosa away from Honda as it did with Rossi at the end of 2003, Burgess said: “Nothing is beyond the realms of possibility.

“All these people have contracts with companies and as we know with any contract, if a better one is offered somewhere else why wouldn’t you accept it?
“Football players do it all the time. It’s the way the commercial world works and we are in the commercial world.”


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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt