Burgess Confirms He And Crew Will Move To Ducati With Rossi

If the news that Valentino Rossi was going to switch to Ducati for the 2011 MotoGP season was the worst-kept secret in the paddock, the fate of Jerry Burgess and the rest of Rossi's pit crew was probably the best-kept secret. Although it was widely expected that Burgess would follow Rossi to Ducati, all questions on the subject put to the Australian and the rest of the crew were met with a positively sphinx-like silence. Even hardened paddock veterans couldn't get a straight answer out of Burgess, Briggs, Ansiau, Stephens or any of the other members of Rossi's entourage.

Until now, that is. In a forthright interview with veteran US journalist Henny Ray Abrams over on the website of Sport Rider magazine, Burgess finally comes clean about his intention to move to Ducati along with Rossi. His reasoning was simple: the timeframe for Rossi's career fits in perfectly with Burgess' own plans. Rossi, currently 31, is likely to race in MotoGP for another 3 to 4 years, before moving off to race elsewhere, most probably in the World Rally Championship. Burgess is currently 57, and Rossi's retirement from the sport would come at about the time that Burgess himself would be looking at retiring.

That decision was not as simple to make for the other members of Rossi's crew, Burgess revealed to Sport Rider. The other members of the crew are much younger, and will have a career beyond Rossi's retirement. Burgess pointed out to them that this might not necessarily be the best move for the rest of their careers, but they have all decided to make the switch anyway. Whatever the outcome, Burgess added, they were all "the best in their field" and would easily find employment elsewhere, should it be necessary in the future.

As for how competitive Rossi would be on the Ducati, Burgess was confident that he and Rossi would soon get the bike up to speed. It was clear that the bike was already competitive, Burgess told Abrams, and the issues he saw could be solved relatively easily. "If we had that issue with Valentino it'd be fixed in 80 seconds," Burgess said.

Burgess also commented that testing at Valencia was not such a big issue. Burgess pointed out that Rossi is still suffering with a shoulder injury, distorting the data from the test. He also pointed to the possibility of rain disrupting the test, also making the test more or less irrelevant. Asked by Abrams whether it would have mattered if Rossi had missed the test at Valencia, either as a result of surgery or because of a veto by Yamaha, Burgess was devastatingly honest: "I don't think it makes a scrap of difference," he told Abrams.

Read the full story and interview with Burgess over on the Sport Rider website.

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get real Gerry
Burgess added, they were all "the best in their field" so why has the Lorenzo crew out shone the rossi crew all year.

"If we had that issue with Valentino it'd be fixed in 80 seconds," Burgess said.
But it seems to take them longer with the Yamaha as often a setting is found in warm up on the sunday morning
Gerry may of had something a few years back but the others have caught up hes not so great just been around longer

While true that Lorenzo's crew got the job done in 2010, one year doesn't diminish the multiple championships that JB, his crew and Vale have won together...on different manufacturer's machinery, even. A huge part of Jorge Lorenzo's success this year was because of Rossi & Burgess' development on the M1 for the past 7 years.

If Rossi's fully healed I can see him being instantly competitive on the Desmo in '11.

My thoughts echo yours.

Lorenzo and crew won convincingly this season and they deserve the title. But Rossi, with the crash that essentially ended his championship run, has still performed exceptionally.

As a Ducati fan, I'm hoping that the Rossi/Burgess and crew team help they way they've helped in the past as I'm sure they will.

I think you need to know this, JB has 14 Championship, with a few different riders, read a book or something.

Glad to see Mr Burgess going with Vale. I can't wait to see Vale in red and how well he can make the Duc perform.

Next year will be a great one for us die hard GP fans!

I think ithink may have to re-think his opinion on this subject in 2011...Rossi will be a force to be reckoned with on the Duc next year, even more so now that his boys are making the move with him...

Can't argue with a confident man. Sort of like Angelo Dundee and Muhammed Ali saying they'd give Larry Holmes 80 seconds and he'd be sorted out.
No doubt,they have to play the game,given all the commitment around them.
Talking the talk and walking the walk are two different things.
WELL !! Time and the tarmac will tell.
I guess the shoulder doesn't make a scrap of difference,so to be brutally honest,it never did.
Good thing however that they have moved as a team.No excuses post Quatar 2011 please.

I don´t think they will need any excuses....

Great news!!!

Great work as usual :)

Word is that Repsol Honda is definitely going to run a three-rider team of Stoner, Pedrosa and a retained Doviziosi (i.e. his contract is honoured and he doesn't get demoted to Gresini). Toby Moody tweeted this today, also suggesting that Gresini will run Yamahas next year. Thoughts?

I've mentioned this a few times in passing. I'm collecting some data on the final throes of silly season (Elias to LCR, instead of Pramac, De Puniet to Pramac, the Honda HRC situation), and will put a piece up on this soon.

You doubt the words of the crew chief of 13 World Champions. doubt them at your peril..
crew chief championships. 87,94,95,96,97,98,01,02,03,04,05,08 and 09.
Listen to the man and believe him, I think he has a bit of experience.
Rossi out shined? Rossi clearly isn't fit...Phillip island rossi was nearly a second a lap slower compared to last year while Stoner was on the same pace as last year and over the race distance was only half a second slower than last year...excellent consistency as over the last 3 years I think his race distance time has been with a second.
They are trying to set Rossi's bike up to gives him less of a problem with his injured shoulder which is clearly costing him some time, some tracks more than others.

enough of this excuses over fitness please. at the beginning of the season he was fit and only won at qatar because stoner crashed. stoner lost the title last year cos he wasnt fit too yet we aint bitching about it. the test of a true champion includes staying injury free. dani can as well claim lack of fitness all this years so lets put that to rest. lorenzo beat rossi fair and square this season and was leading rossi when rossi suffered injuries. even rossi's pit in previous interviews before he crashed admitted that lorenzo was doing a better job at bike setup and so was faster than him. rossi won at malaysia from miles back riding hard so lets not get sucked in by this injury crab. he equally rode hard against nicky at phillip island. he just wasnt gonna beat stoner or lorenzo there. simply put, he's just not gonna win all races nowadays with this youngsters riding so well

Somebody seems like a sore spot was touched.

Rainey won the title because Doohan crashed in Assen
Schwantz only won the title because Wayne crashed
Criville won the title because Doohan was broken
Nicky only won because Sete took out Loirs
Casey only won because michelin sucked
Rossi only won because Casey re injured his wrist
Rossi only won because Jorge crashed
Jorge only won because Rossi broke himself, twice.

SO the only deserving winner for hte last so many years is Kenny Roberts jr... oh wait, the field was depleted of any talent, so that doesnt count either

That's a fantastic summary of the past 20 years of motorcycle racing! There's always question marks over every championship, because one factory or another has a (temporary) equipment advantage, several riders will have mechanical problems at at least one rider, probably more, will be carrying some kind of injury. That's motorcycle racing. People crash, people get hurt, engineers hit upon an ingenious idea, people get lucky. There will never be a straight fight, because motorcycle racing (like the rest of life) isn't like that. 

Well said. Totally agree with you both.

you took moody's tweet up wrong...it was 3 repsol Hondas dp cs ad and 2 gresini bikes MS and AH=Aoyama and the yamaha's will be sponsered by Air Asia.

Moody's tweet
"For those asking: 3 man Repsol CS DP AD & 2 man Gresini. MS HA. Air Asia Yamahas. All discussed last Friday morning"

I wonder how the information sharing that has been reportedly "open" in the Ducati garage will flow from now on. The true sporting nature of that approach is very cool but can someone who hasn't played as a true team convert?

There are a lot of myths about information sharing doing the rounds of the internet. Firstly, about Ducati: Everyone can see everyone else's data. The Pramac team have asked to see Hayden and Stoner's data, and have been allowed. Hayden can see Stoner's data, and vice versa. They don't use each other's data much, because it's not much use.

At Yamaha, the Yamaha engineers can see everybody's data. Both Lorenzo and Rossi have said that they don't need to look at each other's data, because their styles are so different that the data is of no use. You can see that just by watching them on the bike, Lorenzo and Rossi have two completely different physical styles and postures. On occasion, Rossi has looked at Lorenzo's data and vice versa, it's just not commonly shared. It all sits on the same server though.

Much, much more is made of data sharing than is actually relevant.

going into a new team and on a new bike, i guess it would benefit him to accept an open garage so he can have access to nicky's data. and nicky isnt likely to win the championship over him so i guess he has nothing to lose. lorenzo was his nightmare in the yamaha garage and i still laugh when i remember him say that spies will be a lorenzo to lorenzo next season.

Good point RevNed, in 990 era Rossi, Melandri,Hayden and Capirossi were always competitive. In 800 era Hayden,Melandri and Capirossi have struggled to be competitive with bikes, only Rossi has reasonably made transition.

Hayden is a back it in kind of guy and can't ride 800s same way and has struggled so has other guys who have been around for long time.

The 500s were vicious bikes and watching the races from 2001 were awe inspiring watching Rossi and Capirossi fighting from 1st race of season.

800s r like video game bikes, computer controlled not like past 500s where rider skill was what counted. to those who think Jlo and other video game kids r so great how would they do on a bucking 500 like Capirex or Doc.

Will someone remove some of the traction control & let wrist b traction control again, we'll now c who r these so called great riders.

Sure the 500's were a beast to ride, but they also ended a fair few riders careers. With each era new skills are required and you either adapt (as Rossi has done & Casey) or perish (Capirossi Melandri)......

To say one era of rider is better because of less rider aides is a bit short sighted really. How come Casey Stoner rode Phillip Island with the Traction control off??? Imagine the strength of mind it takes the so called "video games kids" to hold the throttle wide open. I think the older riders you speak of have not been able to get their head around it, and so have not adapted and are now slow. So how are the video game kids not as good??? Fly-by-wire, traction control etc they are all electronic and all suffer malfunctions (how's your computer run???) just like the manual equivalents of the past.

The difference is, when it was manual you usually got a least a fraction of a seconds more warning that you do with the current electronics. For the younger guys, it takes enormous courage to trust in these "PROTOTYPE" electronics.

Think they are easier to ride? Look at the list of injuries over the 800 era? Reminds me of the 500's era.................

Daryl Beattie disclosed it during the Australian coverage of the Race on ONE HD (Tv Channel).

Also directly from the Aus Moto GP corp media manager who hosted interviews and rider signings etc with Casey.

My country of origin has nothing to do with it. The source of my information was requested, the answer given.

What part of "directly from the Aus Moto GP corp media manager" constitutes as overheard hearsay????

Apart form direct conversations with persons who have actual contact with riders, all you need to do is watch and listen to the Ducati 2 wheel drifting through turn 3, over Lukey heights etc.

You've never heard of the technique known as 'disinformation' then, have you? Just because an apparently authoratitive source says so, does not necessarily make it so.

And Stoner was sliding the rear beautifully, but two-wheel drifting? I think not. If you two wheel drift, all you do is run out of road quicker, it doesn't get the bike turned like drifting the rear can.

Yes, Stoner was a joy to watch this past Sunday, laying those big black marks all over the track. In a way it was good he was by himself, one could hear how he was working the throttle sliding (drifting) both front and rear ends of his bike.

David Emmett interviewed Casey and asked him whether he was sliding the front. Casey's reply was instructive:


It seems that it's only the particular elevation changes of Lukey Heights that cause the front to slide (and Casey's predilection for staying on the gas when others back off), so it's more a case of the front being unloaded and sliding rather than any rider-initiated drifting or sliding.

if these video game bikes are so easy to ride how come the whole grid (or at least all the hondas, ducatis and yamahas) arent fighting for the win until the last lap.
i agree that it must a slightly different skill set to fully utilise the bikes we have today in motogp compared to the bikes a decade ago, but the job of the rider has always been to get the most out of the equipment given to him.

the riders skills are also constantly evolving, casey stoner eluded to this in an interview i read a while back (might have been on this very site), but the gist of it was that some of the reasons why you dont see huge lunges under brakes and the like anymore is that ALL the riders have got better on the brakes, and in 10 years time the motogp riders will probably be putting them all to shame.

the bar keeps getting raised every year, it's not that the older riders lose the skills and ability that they already have, i think its just that as you get older is harder to adapty and keep up with then new benchmarks that are being st

Rather buried in the Abrams interview with Burgess was a very key comment regarding the development of the Ducs next year as opposed to the last several years. We now know that Ducati have adopted a position of not developing substantially - other than small tweaks - the bikes during the year, so the riders have had to manage with what Ducati delivered at the start of the year, come what may. That is one of the key reasons that Stoner chose to move to Honda - he felt Ducati simply did not have the budget/the will to undertake continual development in the way Honda does (and that has been very evident this year). I recall the CEO of Ducati saying early in the year that they 'wouldn't win any championship this year' - hardly encouraging stuff for Stoner.

Burgess said that Rossi wouldn't put up with that, and that if Ducati have paid him so much money to ride for them, they'd be stupid not to undertake development he (which means of course the Rossi/Burgess duopoly) recommend. Burgess's comment about 'fixed in 80 seconds' refers more, I think, to the whole process of Rossi saying to Preziosi: 'this needs fixing', and Ducati swinging into action rather than 'putting it on the list' - which incidentally was a common complaint from the riders of Yamaha before Rossi moved across.

So it is likely that the pace of development of the Ducati with Rossi aboard will be a much different trajectory than it has been for Stoner et al, which of course will artificially skew the comparison of Rossi's and Stoner's relative development skills. Be that as it may, it bodes well for the competitiveness of Ducati next year, which ought to make the season more exciting for we fans.

It was preceded in 2009 like the writings on the wall as Vale & Burgess were spied at the Ducati factory. They were accompanied by Ucchio using audi. I read this story from a Ducatisti website several months ago......

Given all of our heated postings on the 'Yamaha allowing Rossi to test' thread ... it was interesting to read the comments from Burgess in this regard. I hadn't thought about the team receiving 'bad' data due to Rossi's shoulder injury nor the impact of rain. I was just focused on how Yamaha was dealing with the situation. Interesting indeed.

I've got a couple comments reading the posts:

1) Rossi has said that his injuried shoulder doesn't allow 'them' to obtain accurate data because he's ridding 'around his injury' and handling the bike differently! That is NOT making excuses, but fact. Any of you ever HAD a SHOULDER injury? I have . . . drinking coffee was tough . . . getting dressed/undressed was different . . . I can't imagine ridding a GP bike . . .
2) Whether Stoner had the TC off or not is irrelavent---he made everyone else look silly. Now someone posted the lap times for PI and Stoner was on his times from last year, when he/Rossi went head-2-head, but Rossi was 1 sec off, as it seemed everyone else was.
3) JL WON the WC this year, as he was the fastest/most consistent rider (by FAR) . . . Stoner could have been there IF he'd have figured out the front of the Duc; IF Rossi hadn't broken his leg/injuried his shoulder . . . . ITS ALL SPECULATION, BUT taking shots at Rossi, as some have on this site, is MORONIC! I'm talking about RIDDING ability, NOT personalities! When someone wins 3 WC, maybe we can talk about 'abilities' . . . but Rossi has proven he has NO EQUAL for over 10 years!!!! NOT ONE YEAR!!! On ALL types of GP bikes!!!Stoner (and I LOVE Stoner) has found out how diffilcut it is to win another WC AFTER winning 1! We can continue this discussion in 2015 . . .
4) I think ALL engineers, whether Yamaha, Honda, or Duc, think what they design is PERFECT and the riders aren't fully finding the limit. Stoner, for whatever reason (OK, STUNNING TALENT!!!), has ridden the 'Career Killer' and won on it. The engineers at Yamaha LISTENED to Rossi simply because of his RESUME! Duc engineers will NOT argue w/whatever Rossi says for the same reason. Honda let Rossi GO and look at their record since he left!

Rossi has finished on the podium 5 times in the 8 races since he came back from his broken leg.

He won at Malaysia.

I find it hard to believe Burgess's contention that they can't get useful information from the Valencia test with Rossi's current level of fitness.

That's got just as much spin on it as Rossi's statements.

Next year I will be working at Ducati with the rider & all the gang. The choice was easy & made months ago.