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here ya go Conrad

While Valentino Rossi is banned by former employers Yamaha from talking about Ducati until next year his crew chief Jeremy Burgess was willing to provide some valuable insight.

Despite the unimpressive result at the Valencia test, Burgess sees plenty of upside and he will return to Ducati's Bologna HQ later this month for a series of crucial technical meetings.

By then Ducati will also have an update on the success of Rossi shoulder surgery.

"The two things at the top of the job list are fixing Valentino's shoulder and analyzing all the data from the test," Burgess said. "Five days of riding at Valencia (GP race + test) really took it out of him; at the end he could do just three or four laps -- he couldn't do much.

"I will be back in Bologna for meetings in December to meet with Filippo Preziosi and Valentino. We will check the data and tap into Valentino's mind to further understand what needs to be done.

"Our focus is to make the bike better for everyone and we gathered a lot of information. Valentino is the man for that."

Rossi was riding virtually one-handed at the end of the test, perhaps one reason why he complained that the Ducati was difficult to turn. And Burgess said that after seven years on the Yamaha M1 the Ducati style was something of a culture shock for Rossi.

The Rossi/Burgess pairing have a track record of performing developmental miracles. It was the defection of Rossi and Burgess from Honda to Yamaha in 2004 that turned the once unloved M1 into MotoGP's best all-around package and most consistent race winner. The Desmosedici is a much more potent package than the Yamaha they originally transformed, but there is work to be done.

"The Ducati is more physical to ride than the Japanese bikes and turning the bike is one of our issues we need to improve," Burgess explained. "You have to force it a little more and that probably added some stress that we didn't expect to be there. We didn't want to push into any areas of risk.

"But Valentino said the bike has fantastic rear grip and that the engine is terrific.

"We would have loved to have been further up the time sheets. Everybody loves to be on top. But Valentino just wanted to ride and understand the bike. He didn't want to push as hard as he could have."
Rossi's switch to Ducati, replacing Casey Stoner who has moved to Honda, has sparked intense interest in the 2011 MotoGP championship.

Despite the spotlight and high expectations, Burgess says there is no feeling of panic at Ducati, and Rossi's renowned calmness under pressure, well known to Burgess after 11 years together, was on full show at the Valencia test.

Ducati bosses, including technical guru Preziosi, were stunned with Rossi's unflustered and deeply analytical feedback despite his lowly position on the time sheets.

"Valentino knows his own ability and he knows what he can do and perhaps Filippo is used to dealing with Casey!" Burgess said. "Valentino knows that that you have to get the information across in a calm and forthright way. Yelling and screaming doesn't get you very far.

"We've done two days now, got an understanding of the bike and with more testing to come.

"We'll be ready to go at Qatar."

The championship opens on March 20, 2011.
 
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