Bigger isn’t always better, says Jeremy Burgess, Valentino Rossi’s crew chief.
This season, the big news in MotoGP is the move to 1000cc engines, up from 800cc. But in an interview with Adelaide’s Advertiser newspaper, Burgess panned the move, calling it a “folly.”
Burgess’s beef with the upsized motors? He thinks riders are going to be going too fast, claiming racers should be able to hit 360 kph when drafting in the straights with a tailwind. When you consider that motors were previously downsized to 800cc from 990cc because officials thought the previous top speeds, around 340 kph, were too much, then you can understand where Burgess is coming from.
Burgess isn’t simply unhappy with the high speeds attainable through new motors; he thinks the 1000cc size discourages manufacturers from entry, as they’re not interested in developing new liter bikes. He thinks the series should be limited to 600cc motors instead, forcing the manufacturers to get more power out of smaller engines, calling the 1000cc motors “car engines.”
Will anyone pay attention to Burgess? It’s hard to say, but he’s certainly got a long history of involvement with MotoGP. In the earlier days of his 33-year career, he worked with guys like Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan to help them win races. Now, he says for the first time in his career, he’s got real worries about MotoGP’s future – and he says he’s not the only technician on the circuit to feel that way.