Burgess to Ducati?

Henny Ray Abrams | September 29, 2010

TOKYO, JAPAN, SEPT 30 – Jeremy Burgess is almost certainly going to Ducati with Valentino Rossi. Yamaha has said they don’t expect him back and now there’s confirmation from another of the riders Burgess helped to a world championship.Writing in his weekly column https://www.cyclenews.com/articles/wayne-s-world/2010/09/29/wayne-s-world-26-wayne-gardner-writes, 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner confirms his belief that Burgess will go.Burgess, who was the crew chief on Gardner’s title-winning team, is the final piece in what has been an intricate puzzle this year. Most every MotoGP ride is taken and little remains in the way of intrigue, other than the destination of Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso. Having won serial championships with Rossi and Mick Doohan, Burgess has earned something of a celebrity status and his expected move has been carefully watched. Unlike the riders, however, whose plans are often leaked weeks or even months in advance, Burgess hasn’t revealed his future instead allowing others to speculate. Even now he hasn’t confirmed his departure. Much the same happened back in 2004 when Rossi left Honda for Yamaha. It was very late in the game that Burgess finally announced he’d be leaving Honda.When Gardner ran into Burgess at Heathrow airport following the Aragon Grand Prix, the obvious question was, “Are you going to go?” Gardner writes Burgess’s response was, “Not sure,” and just smiled. Gardner believes that “Reading between the lines, it’s basically a done deal. He just has to get all the right conditions in place. Although Yamaha team sources said last week that he’s definitely going, Jerry hasn’t told Yamaha about his plans and has until the next race to let them know. Talking to Jerry further, I think a major influencing factor in Valentino’s decision to move to Ducati is the fact that Yamaha don’t have a lot left in their engine in terms of development. Jerry was saying the bike still handles very well, but added that Honda and Ducati have stepped up engine development significantly this year. As a consequence, Yamaha are finding it increasingly tough to compete in the horsepower race.”The future for their current engine design doesn’t look so good at this stage. Now, Ducati have a strong engine once again with significant input from Ferrari, while Honda have recruited all their former F1 engineers to the MotoGP cause and are spending a lot of money on bike development. With all this in mind, I think it’s perfect timing for Valentino to go. If the engine’s strong, it won’t take him and Jerry long to sort out the chassis issues. I expect him to be right at the front and winning next year.”

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.