When Valentino Rossi rocked the MotoGP paddock in Valencia last November by axing long-serving crew chief Jerry Burgess, many questioned the wisdom of his ruthless decision.
Burgess had been at Rossi’s side since his MotoGP debut back in 2000 and was the technical architect behind the Italian’s seven premier class titles at Honda and Yamaha.
But after struggling to regularly challenge Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa on his return to Yamaha last season, Rossi removed Burgess to seek new motivation.
The 35-year-old certainly seems to have found that with new crew chief Silvano Galbusera, who joined Rossi immediately after the final race in Valencia.
Rossi has been impressive throughout his first pre-season campaign with Galbusera and has himself admitted that he is much more confident in his ability to be competitive this year than at the same stage a year ago.
Rossi told MCN: “I like a lot the way to work with Silvano. I am happy. I felt OK working with Jerry but I feel very good with Silvano. He works very hard and always wants to find something better. He is never happy. Also I'm happy because there is a good atmosphere with all my Australian mechanics, who were very shocked at the beginning with the change from Jeremy. Now they feel good with Silvano and this is important."
One key asset for Rossi in his relationship with Galbusera is the capacity to debrief and talk the finer details of strategy and machine set-up in Italian.
Rossi added: “Speaking Italian for the details is important.”
Galbusera admitted speaking the same language was vitally important, particularly as Rossi’s data technician, Matteo Flamigni, is also Italian.
Galbusera told MCN: “There are times when it can be very important because we discuss in English because the Japanese are there, but the final discussion you can understand the best detail of the problems in Italian. The final comments I think is very important to speak in the same language. When we are talking, 90% of the time Matteo is involved and it is better to look at the rider comment, check the data and take a decision. You can do this more quickly by speaking the same language.”