MotoGP is full of characters, and not just on the race track.
In many ways it is inevitable that the bigger the rider, the more light will shine on those who have worked with them as their personalities show through in the paddock too.
Valentino Rossi’s right-hand man Uccio is so ubiquitous that if he wasn’t there you’d wonder why, and in the garage; to the end of this season after an unexpected split; you always expect a shot of Jeremy Burgess hard at work, so popular and well known that he was often the grid interview when the Italian wouldn’t comply.
Burgess had a lot of fellow Australians working under his guidance wherever the job of being ‘The Doctor’s’ mechanic took them, one of which was Alex Briggs.
Briggs has now been in the MotoGP paddock for 21 seasons so losing the guy who had been your boss for that time suddenly was shocking as an outsider. The mechanic has been kind enough to explore this in an excellent blog post on his personal website, wrenchracer.com.
The post entitled ‘Thanks for that call’ is a touching account finishing with how Briggs came to work with Burgess after his fellow Aussie left a message for him to call, but mainly deals with how much of an influence Rossi’s head mechanic had on bike development and racing.
“Many people in this paddock don’t know why they do certain procedures or how things became the way they are. They might say “oh well that’s how we have always done it!” but they don’t realize that that’s how JB wanted it done and his riders and team were winning so everyone started to take notice of what he was saying and then implement it”.
Without wanting to give too much away (it really is worth a moment of your day!) the quote above gives a great insight into where his post is at. Burgess has had one of, if not THE greatest racing mind in the paddock and whether alongside the Mick Doohan or Rossi his ideas have been game changing.
Briggs also hints at what ‘JB’ the person is like, giving just the slightest of mentions of his family life and his storytelling ability.
The full blog post is available here: http://www.wrenchracer.com/1/category/all/1.html
It is an insightful, smart and poignant read, enjoyable to the final full stop.
The post started as something too long for a tweet, but there’s plenty to see at Alex Briggs’ Twitter account too – https://twitter.com/Alex__Briggs
And if you have a bit of spare change to give then he also does ‘Movember’ ( growing a mustache to raise money for prostate cancer charities if you don’t have it round your way!) and you can donate by clicking here.