Yamaha today confirmed to MCN at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia that all of Valentino Rossi’s technical crew, led by Australian chief engineer Jerry Burgess, will be back with the Japanese factory next season.
In a move widely expected since Rossi confirmed his return to Yamaha in the summer break back in August, the 33-year-old’s crew all signed two-year deals to move back to Yamaha with the Italian during last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi.
Rossi left Yamaha with all of his crew at the end of 2010 to embark on a disastrous two-year spell with Ducati.
Burgess and five of Rossi’s crew will return to Yamaha and all have been released by Ducati to work with the nine-times world champion when he makes his much anticipated return to Yamaha at a two-day test session immediately after the final race in Valencia.
All but one of Rossi’s current garage crew have been with him since he joined MotoGP back in 2000 in which time he won seven world titles.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN: “We will take back the full group of mechanics, so I can confirm that JB, Alex (Briggs), Brent (Stephens), Bernie (Ansiau), Gary (Coleman) and Matteo (Flamigni) will all be returning to us and they will begin their work with us at the Valencia test.”
Jarvis said Yamaha had not insisted on keeping any of the crew currently working with Ben Spies, who will join the Pramac Ducati squad next season.
He added: “These are not Honda staff joining Yamaha. These are Yamaha guys that went to Ducati. I guess you call it a two-year sabbatical. We don’t need any continuity because Valentino’s crew know the M1 very well and they know Yamaha and all of our systems, so it is very easy for us to take them back into our garage. I am sorry for some of the crew that have to leave us because we have simply run out of jobs. We have some really great people in Ben’s crew and some of them I understand will follow him. I am really sorry we can’t maintain those guys but unfortunately the trend in the paddock has been for a rider to take his entire crew when he moves."