Jerry Burgess understands Casey Stoner’s shock absence

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Valentino Rossi’s legendary crew chief Jerry Burgess has said he understands why Casey Stoner opted to concede his 2009 MotoGP world title hopes to try and recover from mystery health issues.

Stoner missed last weekend’s Brno race and will also sit out the forthcoming Indianapolis and Misano clashes while he undertakes a period of complete rest to be fit for a planned return in Estoril in early October.

It’s a decision that drew widespread shock with the 23-year-old locked in a title fight with Fiat Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

But Burgess told MCN that the decision was entirely understandable if Stoner was unable to compete against Rossi and Lorenzo at 100 per cent.

He told MCN: “I'm not surprised he stopped because I see it in a different way. If his situation was not going to improve then to carry on at half strength was pointless. He is a guy who wants to be a winner, so if by taking time off he can come back at 100 per cent and win races then he's going to better off than getting half points in these next few races.

"Many times we see an injured rider goes out and races whereas some extra rest may give him the chance of getting a bag of points rather than half points, so the end result is no different. Instead of getting eight at two races he might come back and be third on the podium, which is still 16 points."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt