Announced at the pre-event press conference today at the Valencian GP, Valentino Rossi dropped the bombshell that he would not be having Jeremy Burgess as his crew chief for the 2014 MotoGP season. Rossi reportedly told Yamaha Racing about his decision last week, with Burgess himself learning of the news just before the press conference.

The announcement is a huge move for the nine-time World Champion, as Burgess and his team of mechanics have been an integral part to Rossi’s racing success. However, one has to wonder if Rossi’s current troubles braking on the Yamaha YZR-M1 , and his horrible two years chasing setups at Ducati Corse didn’t play a factor in his ultimate decision.

“Next year, Jerry will not be my chief mechanic. It was a very difficult decision for me because I have a great history with him, he is not just my chief mechanic but part of a family, my father of racing, but I decide for next year I need to change something for try to find new motivation and have a new boost for improve my level and speed,” said Rossi during the press conference.

No word yet on who will replace Burgess as Rossi’ crew chief. More on this as we get it from Valencia.

Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • buellracerx

    holy. crap. what a breakup…

  • H.L.

    Good move. Maybe a year or two too late though. Lorenzo’s team will play with set up an get it right, just the way Lorenzo wants it the day of the race in warm ups it seems like every race.

  • Bemer2six

    Yeah like that’s really going to help .

  • DAMN

    think its good like this. jeremy and rossi 30 years. and didnt jb said he didnt want to go back to yamaha? so after a year of trying its time to leave. both got amazing results!!!!

  • David

    Now if Rossi will just fire and replace himself with a younger/sharper person, the transformation will be complete.

    Excellent career JB! <>

  • David
  • Looter

    Thats a gamble on Vale’s part I think. Where to now for Burgess? Retirement? Maybe he can wishfully, slot in with Stoner on a third RCV to make ’14 exciting.

  • Gutterslob

    I’m not sure if Rossi was misquoted, or whether he himself just worded it poorly. But I don’t think it’s a breakup/split between the two. Burgess had long hinted at retirement, citing his desire to be close to family. His wife was diagnosed with cancer 2 or 3 years ago, I believe. This “split” is just a bi-product of that. At least that’s what I’m assuming.

  • Far Canal

    It’s tough to watch someone like Rossi in his final years in the game (as a rider anyhow). I personally think he never recovered from Marco Simoncelli’s death but maybe with a new team, he might salvage something. I also tend to agree with @Gutterslob – this has been a long time comming.

  • SBPilot

    JB has wanted to retire, I’m sure he’s not as hungry as before, Vale needs full commitment from his cheif mech. I think it’s a mutual departure. The biggest question is who will Vale get to replace JB.

    If only he could poach Cristian Gabbarini from HRC somehow…

  • PD

    Sad for Burgess, as he wanted to continue for ’14 per Rossi, but it was high time. Burgess and crew started falling behind the best of the competition in ’06 and never really caught up. Even in ’08 and ’09, Rossi won in spite of slow set-ups, only getting the bike rideable at warm-up on so many occasions, always behind competitors in getting the bike dialed in. Don’t know if this will enable Rossi to get any closer next season; nonetheless, it was time to take the risk of a change. Besides, judging by his quotes, Burgess had already concluded that Rossi was no longer competitive for the title, and, whether Burgess was right or wrong about that in the end, if he feels that the title is unattainable, he’s not going to be shooting for it (will lack the motivation, inspiration, the energy that belief in the possibility, the expectation of the utmost performance, would engender). Rossi, if he’s going to get to where he wants to get to, needs his crew to expect to get to that level as much as he does.

    One thing about Rossi that is evident is that he is very loyal to those with whom he goes back a long ways who remain likewise loyal to him. In that sense, this break-up with Burgess is a bit of a surprise and a bit sad. Nonetheless, again, it was necessary IF Rossi is to make it back to challenging for the title, as he clearly wants to be.

  • PD

    @SBPilot: Yes, Gabbarini would be IDEAL. He and the Forcada/Zeelenberg combination are unmatched at the moment (and have been for a number of years). However, Nakamoto has been quoted as saying that Gabbarini was “untouchable,” that HRC would never lose him… But it WOULD be great if Gabbarini and Rossi could get together…

  • Wolf

    HRC would “never” lose him?….. hmmm… possibly. But, never say “never”.
    Especially with the lovely united family they have their in the HRC camp ;-)

  • TexusTim

    in the press confrence it looked like rossi may have someone lined up but cant say yet…maybe he is bring the ducati squad in….lol?

  • mikaelkn

    Re: Gabbarini

    Isn’t he currently over at Marques’ garage? With Marques’ recent request to bring his old Moto2 crew over (see the power struggle within the Repsol team) – this would be a good time to defect.

  • PD

    Last I heard, Gabbarini is NOT directly a part of Marquez’ team. He was promoted to a sort of supervisory engineer type role for HRC’s overall MotoGP effort, when Marquez and Santi Hernandez came in. Whether he’s enjoying being not as directly involved with a rider or not, I don’t know. One thing for certain is that he is very highly regarded by HRC brass.

    It’d be great if he is missing working directly with a rider, and would find possibly working with Rossi an attractive prospect. However, given that he has spent so much time with Stoner when he considered Rossi an arch-enemy, I don’t know if he would be interested in working with Rossi, period, even if he were to desire a more involved role than his current HRC role.

  • paulus

    Blame the team… or the parts…. or the frame…. or the many other things.
    There is no loyalty with a potential pay-check that size. 1 more year in the seat pays millions of Euros.

  • SBPilot

    Gabbarini is a Technical Supervisor now, he’s on neither side of the garage. Yes it would be ideal for him to join Rossi as he is the most qualified being Stoners ex-crew chief. It’s a waste for him to be in a non-crew chief role.

    The other plus which I think is not to be overlooked is that he is Italian, so Rossi and him can understand each other to the exact precise with no info lost/misunderstood in translation. Not to mention the rest of Rossi’s crew is Italian save Alex Briggs.

  • Burgess does look burnt out, stressed out of his mind and not enjoying himself anymore. Great career mind may be somewhere though. I may be wrong but maybe Rossi current riding style doesn’t suit the M1 like it used too. Rossi looks to brake real late and hard as appose to Lorenzo high fast flowing 250 like riding style. Rossi needs to jump on a Honda.

  • Westward

    Gabbarini would be a very interesting.

    All season long, Rossi’s machine does not seem to be able to hang with the top three. However, when he is in close combat battling for fourth, he seems to always be victorious.

    Plus, once the tyres have a little wear on them, he seems to match the pace of the top three… Now, if only the bike can be set right before the race starts….

  • andrewinuk

    The seeds were possibly sown by JB with this article…

    “In a long interview that was published in Spanish newspaper Marca, Valentino Rossi’s legendary crewchief Jeremy Burgess was asked if Rossi still has a chance of winning the world title and he said, “It would be a wonderful dream, and a small miracle… “Valentino has already won seven titles in the premier class, and the chances of that re-occuring is shrinking. We must accept it …”

    “When you’re young you have certain characteristics like courage and the need to take risks that slowly disappears when you become older. At a certain point you need to feel more at ease, more relaxed and in sports even that 1% makes the difference.” ”

    I have now changed my view that VR’s decision was should have been done differently.

    Apologies to readers of both A&R and Motomatters for double post.

  • Chaz Michael Michaels

    Seems like a desperate move for to go faster.

    How many 4th place finishes will be needed for to realize it’s time to retire?

  • TexusTim

    well to take the words out of his mouth ” this blindsided me for sure” but then he kinda explained the never winning comment and you could tell even the discussion of it irated rossi…maybe he felt that was not a loyal thing to say. but I think it was every personal to them both and it is sad to see them not end it on the team together. now we have to wonder who gets picked of someones team to fill the void with burgess departure

  • vman2957

    14 years is a long time. We will one day be probably having the same convo about Marquez if Marquez is lucky enough. The only difference is Marquez has yet to have the success and the disappointment of Rossi, and ONLY time will tell if he EVER be that good. To the people who say Rossi has “lost it” I can only shake my head. Yeah is he having trouble finding the extra umph that he needs to get to the top 3 guys, for sure, is he blaming Burgess ? I don’t think so. At this stage of his Career if he has what it takes to win or contend for a championship he has to make moves. At Motegi he pushed it on the brakes and went past what he probably knew the bike or maybe himself was capable of, and that’s what a racer who wins does and he did it twice. If the mental shift of changing up his team is necessary than I say go for it. To say Rossi who has been dicing it at the highest levels for as long as he has is “hard to watch” well the world needs commentators , I guess…

  • mak lampir

    unacceptable..rossi will never win again without burgess..i believe that..jorge should take burgess to his camp..he’s the most experienced man on M1

  • Vale girl

    Mak lampir you say Rossi will never win again without JB? He hasn’t won with JB for yrs now. He’s doing what ever he can to get back on the podium on a regular basis, wouldn’t you do anything you could?

  • Ltg

    When Rossi left yamaha it was already obvious that burgess’s time had passed. Lorenzo always had better set ups. Then the debacle of ducati, where im sure burgess’s big mouth convinced rossi it was simple issue to make it competative. Eventually, they were copying Hayden’s settings because burgess clearly was lost. And all through this were little comments that suggested burgess didnt think rossi had the speed any longer.

    It is a surprise it took this long. When your employee questions your ability, when his loose tongue causes you headaches, when he is continually out