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Exclusive: Jeremy Burgess

Exclusive: Jeremy Burgess

Exclusive: Jeremy Burgess

Behind the blur of publicity that went with Valentino Rossi's controversial switch from Honda to Yamaha at the end of last season, it went almost unnoticed that he took half of his crew, including revered Chief Mechanic Jeremy Burgess with him. Burgess had been with Honda for 20 years, working with Ron Haslam, Freddie Spencer, Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan before supervising Rossi's step up to the elite category in 2000, and had won no fewer than ten World Championships.

Now, after picking up the gauntlet to help Yamaha challenge the Honda RC211V he and Rossi helped to make so dominant, Burgess is sensing a familiar feeling of optimism at the dawn of a new season thanks to an intense winter working to adapt the YZR-M1 to his young Italian protégé's World Championship winning requirements. In this exclusive interview for, the Australian also looks forward to the MotoGP Official Test at Barcelona this week, discusses the structure of Yamaha's factory team and reveals his expectations both for the first race of new season at Welkom and for the year ahead.

"I think we've got a really top group of engineers working on the engine and aware of the position of the M1 in the last couple of years and where the other major manufacturers are," begins Burgess. "I think there's been an acceleration in the urgency to make the Yamaha competitive – this is seen obviously with the signing of somebody of the calibre of Valentino Rossi. We didn't start with a Grand Prix winning bike but we're confident we'll be challenging."

To hear the rest of this in-depth interview, click the video link at the top of the page.

MotoGP, 2004

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