Yamaha confirm replacement for axed Jerry Burgess

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Valentino Rossi’s new factory Yamaha MotoGP crew chief will be Silvano Galbusera, who will take over from the Italian’s trusted chief engineer Jerry Burgess from today’s test session in Valencia.

Burgess was unceremoniously dumped on the eve of the final race in Valencia  after a 14-year stint with Rossi that saw them win seven world titles and 80 races together in a collobration that started at Honda way back in 2000.

Galbusera was installed as an immediate favourite once news leaked that Rossi was ditching Burgess to seek ‘new motivation and a new boost’ to help him bridge the gap to dominant Spanish trio Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.

Galbusera began his career in motorcycle racing in 1979 with Gilera, spending 14 years working on both road racing in the 250GP world championship with riders such as Alessandro Gramigni and Paolo Casoli. He also worked off road on African Rallies such as the Paris-Dakar with Michele Rinaldi. He then moved to Cagiva in 1994 and worked in the 500cc world championship with John Kocinski.

The following year he joined the Yamaha family where he remained until 2011.

During his time there he worked as both crew chief and technical director in World Superbike and World Supersport, guiding riders including Troy Corser, Noriyuki Haga, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies to multiple race wins and the 2009 WSB title. For 2012 and 2013 he worked with Italian Marco Melandri in BMW’s World Superbike team.

Galbusera said in a Yamaha statement: “I’d like to thank Yamaha and Valentino for this great opportunity to work close to such a multi titled, high level champion. I’m happy to be back in the Yamaha family and to have an opportunity in such a successful team that is always at the top.”

Galbusera has certainly taken on one of the toughest jobs in MotoGP at present with Rossi winning only one of 18 races in 2013 since he returned to Yamaha.

He was fourth for the sixth time in the last nine races but filling the void left by Aussie Burgess will be a huge undertaking.

Yamaha boss Massimo Meregalli said: “It’s nice to welcome Silvano back to the Yamaha family. Having worked with him personally for ten years I have the utmost respect for his skill and technical expertise. For sure he will need some time to adjust to MotoGP but I have no doubt that he has the capability to successfully lead Valentino’s crew into and through the 2014 season. It has been a pleasure to work with Jeremy over this last season. On behalf of Yamaha I would like to say we are indebted to him for the huge number of successes and invaluable knowledge he has contributed to Yamaha.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt