Australian crew chief Jeremy Burgess will join legendary Italian Valentino Rossi in switching to the Ducati Team for the 2011 MotoGP World Championship season, the worst kept secret in racing confirmed this week.
Australian crew chief Jeremy Burgess will join legendary Italian Valentino Rossi in switching to the Ducati Team for the 2011 MotoGP World Championship season.
One of the worst kept secrets in racing will see Burgess and the majority of the Rossi crew switch from Fiat Yamaha to spearhead Ducati’s charge with the Desmosedici GP11 next season, confirmed by Burgess on this week to American magazine Sport Rider.
“I think, obviously, Valentino going makes a huge difference and us working together as long as we have, it’s gone well,” Burgess declared. “We were very happy to stay where we are, of course, but he elected to choose another direction.
“But his time frame suits very much probably me more than if I was to stay here and perhaps been asked to help with Ben [Spies] or somebody else at Yamaha. Lin Jarvis asked me to stay, if I would. Obviously, as he said, ‘They came with Valentino, it’s likely they’ll leave with Valentino’.
“It’s going to be a great challenge and after 31 years with Japanese companies it’s going to be really good to have the opportunity and to do it together with Valentino will be very special and we’ll only have to wait and see how we’ll go.”
Rossi and Burgess won the first of their 500GP titles in 2001 with Nastro Azzurro Honda NSR500 two-stroke, before winning the first MotoGP title of the four-stroke era with Repsol Honda in 2002 and again in 2003.
2004 saw the pairing switch to Yamaha, with Rossi winning on debut in South Africa and then going on to win the title at his first attempt on the YZR-M1. Rossi won again in 2005, his final titles with Yamaha coming in 2008 and 2009.
Check out the full in-depth interview with Burgess on Sport Rider’s website by clicking here.