Jerry Burgess crucial for Ducati, says Mick Doohan

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Aussie legend Mick Doohan reckons Jerry Burgess moving to Ducati with Valentino Rossi is vital for the Bologna factory to succeed with the nine-times world champion.

Burgess and the rest of Rossi’s loyal crew will all quit Yamaha at the end of the 2010 campaign to join Rossi at Ducati.

And five-times world champion Doohan, who won all of his titles between 1994 and ’98 under the guidance of Burgess at Repsol Honda, says Burgess’s intimate understanding of Rossi and how the 31-year-old operates will be vital for Ducati next season.

Doohan told MCN: “They are a great team and without a doubt that will help Valentino right from the start. No doubt he wouldn’t want to break that bond that he has.

"All he’s changing really is the machinery so he knows how to work with the whole crew. They know how to interpret what he’s saying. They’ve worked with him long enough to know that if he raises an eyebrow what it means.”

Doohan though said Honda and Yamaha should have made more of a concerted effort to try and break-up the formidable Rossi/Burgess partnership.

Together they have won seven MotoGP world titles and 78 premier class victories. And both played key roles in changing Yamaha’s dire fortunes when Rossi quit Honda at the end of 2003 to embark on a brilliant period on board a factory YZR-M1 machine.

Doohan, who retired in 1999 after suffering serious injuries in a crash at Jerez, added: “If I was Yamaha or more importantly Honda, I’d been offering JB and that crew anything what it took to get them away from Valentino to undermine that operation.

"You need to unsettle that combination. JB has proven his worth. He’s got lots of world championships under his belt so he’s worth every cent. It’s a cheap investment by the other teams to try and do that. It just makes sense.

"Even if it was another one or two million dollars on top of what the budget for the year is going to be, for them to have the chance of winning the championship, to spend that extra bit to win is worth every cent.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt