Jerry Burgess: ‘Valentino continues to amaze me’

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Valentino Rossi’s legendary crew chief Jerry Burgess believes the reigning world champion is riding better than ever in 2009.

Even though Rossi has won over 100 Grand Prix races and been racing in the elite class for a decade, Burgess believes Rossi is in the form of his life.

The 30-year-old won his sixth race of the season in Misano earlier this month to take a giant stride towards claiming a ninth world title.

Holding a 30-point lead over Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo ahead of the next race in Estoril early next month, Rossi’s performances this season have impressed a pragmatic Burgess.

And the Aussie believes much of Rossi’s sparkling form is the result of the increased threat from Lorenzo, who has been second to the Italian four times in ’09.

Burgess told MCN: “He (Rossi) never ceases to amaze. But when the competition is good that’s what can happen. We’ve had good competition before but this is the first time we’ve had competition from within our own group and he’s risen to that level. It’s fantastic.”

Assessing the task Lorenzo is facing to overhaul Rossi to claim his first premier class title, Burgess added: “If I was racing I’d be quite happy to be on the bike that the world champion has developed over a number of years. If you can beat the world champion on that bike then there’s a good chance you’ll be beating everybody else too.

“I think it’s a good place to be. When you understand the bike like the world champion then you’ll be able to take your share of wins and to be fair he’s beaten us a couple of times. But it is not an easy job beating Valentino.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt