Valentino Rossi signing a big risk for Ducati, says Jerry Burgess

1 of 1

Valentino Rossi’s crew chief Jerry Burgess reckons the Italian’s move to Ducati has heaped immense pressure on the Bologna factory for 2011.

Rossi will partner Nicky Hayden next year in Ducati’s factory squad after opting to quit Yamaha at the end of the current campaign.

Although it is widely anticipated that Burgess and all of Rossi’s crew will move with the 31-year to Ducati, the Aussie has refused to declare where his future lies.

Rossi made an instant impact when he quit Honda to join Yamaha in 2004. He won on a memorable debut at the Welkom circuit in South Africa after an epic battle with fierce rival Max Biaggi before winning the title at the first attempt on board a YZR-M1 990cc machine.

But Burgess told MCN: “It was a big risk and well documented by Masao Furusawa at Yamaha when he took on Valentino in 2004.

"He knew if he didn’t win on the Yamaha it would reflect back on Yamaha and I can’t see that has changed in anyway and it is a very delicate situation.

"Valentino is an icon in Italy and so is the Ducati brand. But if success doesn’t come then somebody is going to be tarnished.”

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt