Burgess “Blindsided” As Rossi Announces Split


Yamaha’s Jeremy Burgess admitted he felt “blindsided” by Valentino Rossi’s decision to end their partnership after fourteen years together. Rossi made the announcement yesterday on the eve of the season finale at Valencia, bringing to an end a relationship that has produced 80 victories and seven premier class titles.

Speaking in Thursday’s pre-event press conference, Rossi told of his sadness to be splitting with “father in racing” but feels he needs a change as he prepares to ride for his future in 2014.

I’ve decided for next year I need to change something to try to find new motivation and to have a boost to improve my level, my speed. So this will be my last race together with Jeremy. We spoke today, face to face. Next year will be crucial and I need new motivation. In the last few races I’ve felt I wanted to work in a different way. It was a difficult choice to make. Yamaha had asked me some time ago, but I decided recently. In my head there is the idea of trying something new now. I’ve always done that in my career. Next year I have to earn a renewal with Yamaha, so I’ll have to be competitive. I still do not know who will be the new chief mechanic.”

The pair sat side-by-side in an uncomfortable press conference after practice today and Burgess does not believed his alleged comments that Rossi may not win another race are the reason for his departure.

Rossi and Burgess celebrate what looks set to be their final win together at Assen (Photo Credit: Yamaha)
The victory at Assen looks set to be their final win together (Photo Credit: Yamaha)

“Look, it clearly it blindsided me. I was not expecting it whatsoever. I knew yesterday afternoon when Valentino invited me into his trailer that we weren’t going in there for the Christmas bonus. For me perhaps the words of ‘Won’t win again’… clearly I said ‘We won’t win again until we start winning races and getting on the podium.’ That was the entirety of that statement and I don’t believe I would be paying for that.”

“I haven’t made any plans for the future at this stage. My intention originally, obviously, was continue next year dependent on results and desire. Our contracts are year by year, so we are at that liberty to make a call. We have been chasing rainbows for four years; we haven’t nailed anything decent in those four years, so these are long periods in racing and it becomes more and more difficult. We have always worked on fixing the problems and have done that for four years. This is part of that fix – this is the next step to try and get Valentino back on top, extend his career and be competitive.”

Rossi is yet to announce the identity of his new crew chief but it is unlikely for a replacement to be in position before the post-season test at Valencia next week.

  • BILL FERRY

    The ungrateful little shit..
    It takes two to tango.. GB has worked like a Trojan with the crew to keep VR somewhere in the Hunt.
    2 years at Ducati was a DISASTER for them [GB & VR].. the dream team and the graveyard of dreams.!
    He’s back on the very same bike as JL and running round in 4/5/6.. WHAT is all that about..?
    A broken limb in 2010 clearly seriously detuned him, he wobbled around down the field with Hayden at Ducati.. JL and little Pedrosa both had broken shoulders this season, JL’s was appalling.. yet they both fought on.
    I think , as a long term VR fan.. I think he’s lost it, and sacking GB won’t get it back in any way. It has to come from within.. and I don’t believe he still has it..
    The new boys go straight past him now.. he no longer worries them.
    Go back to the farm son, and count your money.. you earned it.
    WF

  • Liam

    I agree with you Bill, I’ve been a fan of VR for quite some time and to see and hear how he has treated JB this week in such a disrespectful way has really made me think twice about giving VR my support.

    The whole aura surrounding VR was that he was a charismatic and Mr nice guy, that has gone imo. I hope the rest of the mechanics Briggs, Brent and Co leave him high and dry on Monday for testing and head back home.

  • BILL FERRY

    What has really shocked me.. is that even allowing for VR talking to GB and telling what he wants to do.. why not just wait ’til after the race day.?
    GB has stayed with Vale throughout his wife’s illness.. no, CANCER!
    and the little shit does this.. This isn’t Tennis where you get a better coach to improve matters.. GB is the best and has led the charge for 3 World Champions.. a remarkable man.
    This nifty move will trash VR’s reputation among thinking adults but not perhaps the mental-at-all-costs phsyco’ fans.. the chicken-suit lovers.
    Twat.
    WF

  • BILL FERRY

    I watched today’s MotoGP which had many aspects..
    1] The title winner was well deserved.. a really good title win and who knows what for the future.?
    2]The real winner today was Jorge.. who hasn’t given in all season and has fought a tough fight, and cleanly.. he was gracious to Marc and I was so impressed as I have always been by him.
    In the main the Spanish boys appear to be well rounded humans.. nice guys.. proper young men these days.. bit of a change to when the Spanish king gave Jorge’ and Danni a bollocking eh.?
    3]Gerry B clearly didn’t want to be interviewed and who can blame him.. I felt so sorry at the way he has been treated. Are we surprised.. Vale has been about Vale from day one..
    The spaniards have generally more about them,, more manly.?
    4] Vale is building a wall in the pit garage.. again. Hmmmmm
    I bet Jorge is thrilled. Again.
    5] The BBC crew.. after all these years.!!!
    I’ve watched and/or been around bike racing for nearly 50 years.. this has both saddened and really annoyed me..
    Saddened:
    because I run with this programme and the wonderful crew, some don’t like Charlie or Steve.. or both.
    Well fine, but they are, with doubt, on all English speaking channels.. by far the best working today.. and often the funniest.. by some margin.
    Annoyed:
    Yet again the BBC has rolled over and let the opposition/enemy get away with their jewels. A bunch of wusses..
    I am really very sad about this.. I truly feel I have lost good friends. Bugger again.!!
    WF