VALENCIA, SPAIN, NOV. 7 – Valentino Rossi made the announcement today that shocked the MotoGP establishment: He is parting ways with his longtime crew chief Jeremy Burgess.
The announcement came after rumors of the split surfaced in the Italian press this week. At today’s MotoGP pre-race press conference in advance of Sunday’s World Championship finale in Valencia, Spain, Rossi was asked if the rumors were true – that he was unhappy with the work that Burgess has done.
“No, the rumors are true,” Rossi said. “I mean not that I’m not happy about the work of Jeremy, but I think that next year Jeremy will not be my chief mechanic. It was a very difficult decision for me because I have a great history with Jeremy. He’s just not my chief mechanic, but he’s like part of a family. My father of racing.
“I just decide that for next year I need to change something for try to find new motivation and try to have a new boost for improve my level, my speed. And I think that… yeah that this is our last race together with Jeremy.”
The Rossi/Burgess pair have been together for 14 season – since Rossi joined the Repsol Honda team in 2000. Burgess, who also worked with Freddie Spencer and Mick Doohan, went with Rossi from Honda to Yamaha to Ducati and then back to Yamaha again this season.
When asked whether or not Burgess’ replacement had been selected, Rossi said that there were options but the decision has not been made yet.