Meregalli Joins Spies at Yamaha

Henny Ray Abrams | November 3, 2010

Yamaha World Superbike team manager Massimo “Maio” Meregalli will re-join Ben Spies as the manager of the Texan’s factory Yamaha MotoGP team in a widely expected move, Yamaha announced today.Even before Valentino Rossi announced his move to Ducati, it was expected that his team manager, Davide Brivio, would be going with him. Brivio said in August that this was likely his last season with the team. With Ducati’s management structure in place, Brivio is likely to become Rossi’s personal manager.Meregalli ran the WSB team from 2005 through 2010, with the highlight coming in 2009 when Spies won Yamaha’s first ever World Superbike title.The numbers for Meregalli’s reign are 24 Superpoles, 104 podiums, and 33 race wins, with riders including Spies, Nori Haga, Troy Corser, Cal Crutchlow, Andrew Pitt and James Toseland. Spies was responsible for 11 poles, 14 race wins, and 17 podiums.Meregalli will be replaced by current Moto2 team manager and fellow Italian Andrea Dosoli. Dosoli has been a chief mechanic, MotoGP team manager and Moto2 team manager/co-owner for the 2010 season. Andrea will take over the WSB team on Nov. 10, 2010.Meregalli takes over on Monday, Nov. 8, the first day of post-season testing on the day after Sunday’s season-ending Valencia Grand Prix. Meregalli will work  Wilco Zeelenberg, Jorge Lorenzo’s team manager.Brivio leaves Yamaha after a 19-year career. Brivio has been the team manager of the World Superbike team and most recently as team manager of  Rossi’s crew in the factory Yamaha MotoGP team.Brivio joined the Yamaha factory team in 2002 and was instrumental in luring Rossi from Honda during the 2003 season. Their first world championship came in 2004, with a repeat in 2005. Rossi then won again in 2008 and 2009 before a broken leg suffered in his home grand prix at Mugello ended this year’s title hopes.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.