Yamaha Press Release: Silvano Galbusera Named As New Crew Chief To Valentino Rossi

The Yamaha Factory team have announced that Silvano Galbusera will be crew chief to Valentino Rossi for next season. Galbusera worked with Rossi briefly once before, when Rossi tested the World Superbike Yamaha YZF-R1 to test his fitness after breaking a leg at Mugello. More reaction when we get it, the press release from Yamaha appears below:

Silvano Galbusera Confirmed as Crew Chief of Valentino Rossi for 2014

Valencia (Spain), 11th November 2013

Yamaha Factory Racing can confirm that Silvano Galbusera will join the Team from today in the position of Crew Chief for rider Valentino Rossi for the 2014 MotoGP season.

The appointment follows the announcement that Jeremy Burgess would no longer continue with Team following the Valencia Grand Prix weekend.

Silvano began his career in motorcycle racing in 1979 with Gilera, spending 14 years working on both road racing in the 250cc world championship with riders such as Alessandro Gramigni and Paolo Casoli and 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 saw Silvano arrive in the Yamaha family where he remained until 2011. During his time there he worked as both a 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 of course the 2009 World Superbike Championship title. For 2012 and 2013 Silvano worked with Italian Marco Melandri in BMW’s World Superbike team.

Massimo Meregalli - Team Director

“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.”

Silvano Galbusera - Valentino Rossi's Crew Chief

“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.”


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Here's to Silvano and Valentino having a strong 2014. Silvano sounds like a good fit with the team.

Crutchlow has commented on the Yam's problem and so has Jarvis and others. If you have a style that requires a certain capability in the bike you cannot just ride around it. Look at Crutchlow's result of trying to keep up yesterday....
I have to say Rossi, I think, knows the bike's limit. I remember his ride at Donington a few years ago in the wet - he found the grip levels and then rode to them. He was the same on the Ducati (not quite the same outcome, granted....).
You have to respect Lorenzo's ability to set that bike up to do what he needs - but he seems not to need the same as Crutchlow or Rossi. Even Pedrosa (who 'doesn't have the strength'!) was getting the Honda in shapes to keep up and he has seemingly raised his game this year too.
However, Wilco W's comment: "Unfortunately, there was nobody who had the balls to try to pass Dani and Marc, something I think was possible" perhaps says something about what has changed in the Yam box since the JB affair. Perhaps they actually have no idea what Rossi needs from an engineering viewpoint.
Galbusera didn't exactly lead BMW to glory and their bike was frustratingly inconsistent. He didn't do much for Melandri's head in the second half of 2012 either. He doesn't sound like the software guru that JB wasn't (allegedly) and the BMW performance stated that fairly clearly.
I just don't see what this does that JB couldn't; apart from continue into 2015 perhaps.
I look forward to the explanations/results......
I don't suppose JB will comment, but I would like to be a fly on the wall when it is discussed.

Although much has been made of what a shock it was for JB to be axed (obviously, I was surprised as well), it's also worth noting that Silvano is pretty much on a hiding to nothing.

I find it hard to believe that there are any stones left that JB has not overturned in an effort to get VR back up the front, so it would be daunting to even try.

I understand VR's motivation for this change, but I wouldn't like to be in Silvano's position - if he also fails, is it the rider, or the crew chiefs who can no longer interpret him?

Has about as much hope of succeeding. The Yamaha is still an evolution of the machine Rossi originally developed, its not as if they turned the Yamaha into a Desmo while he was away. The bike was good enough for Cal and Dovi to regularly podium with, if Rossi is so finicky about front set up that he's just miles off the pace even with a good bike then the problem is with him as much as the team. IMO Rossi used to be able to win races by riding the machine to within 1 or 2 percent of its potential, but now they ride the bike at 100% from the word go.

How do you know they didn't try - maybe he just wasn't interested? Maybe Yamaha couldn't offer him anything he doesn't already have. Honda probably pays him well already and in any case money isn't everything. Maybe he'd rather work with a winning rider than take on the role of a fall guy for rider who is most likely in decline that no crew chief can reverse.

I think that when Rossi left for Ducati, JB lost some of his power to convince Yamaha to make the engineering changes to Rossi, adjusting the development towards JL99, thus making the M1 difficult to ride for him and for other riders. Burgess, has demonstrated that he can have a winning team, but I think that, somehow, Rossi knows that he needs someone new that can help him develop the M1 towards VR again.

IMO, this change is not related to JB's lack of commitment, it is just politics inside Yamaha and Rossi wants that focus on him again.

I guess my question is, with the disparity between the season he had and the season JL had would it be a safe bet for Yamaha to switch their focus to VR possibly to the detriment of JL or to solider on and ensure JL has the tool he needs and support VR in adjusting to the new reality that JL is their future? There is no guarantee that VR is going to be a weekly front runner and its inevitable that he will retire long before JL, so who should Yamaha focus on?

Take Motegi for example. Only one Yamaha was able to challenge the Hondas in the top 5, and he won the race! Yamaha would be fools to think that shifting development towards Rossi and other riders with a "different style" from JL would pay off. Chances are they would just make the bike harder for everyone to ride, including JL. And does anyone honestly think that the likes of Rossi, Crutchlow, Pol Espargaro, etc could or will be able to take on Pedrosa or Marquez?

But that means, letting HRC to claim the top spots, winning the Constructors Championship again in 2014, and the possibility of Marquez, coming stronger next year, to challenge Lorenzo for the title. Yamaha will have to play its cards with Pol Espargaro, in his rookie year along Bradley Smith to fight for top spots if VR does not challenge Lorenzo or at least Pedrosa, IMO.

Lorenzo lost the title on a bike designed just for him, so who's to say which rider could take the title back from Honda? If Rossi's new crew chief could influence Yamaha to go in another direction, could he win another title? What would that be worth in ticket sales to Dorna? I think the odds are against Rossi but if they bet on him and he wins, the payout is huge! Nothing against JL, personally I think if they were all on identical bikes Lorenzo is the man to beat but they're not and Honda keeps spending more and more money to win.
Good luck Cal!

There is one thing i am not sure of. Dani Pedrosa and Rossi compete since 2006, and never ever was Rossi so beaten by Dani. Yes, Marquez raised the bar, and Lorenzo is the only one who could up the game and fight him. But Lorenzo was extremely fast in 2009 and in 2010 He would take the title, even if Rossi would not brake his leg. So, we knew that JLo can beat VR46 on equal terms. But still, the gap to Pedrosa is making me wonder. Could Dani improve so much in two years? Has Rossi really got so "old" in two seasons with Ducati, that ha cant touch Dani's pace?

I don't think that Signiore Galbusera can do the trick, but I certainly hope so. And judging by Pedrosa's benchmark, maybe maybe "The Old One" can still do it.

Regarding Yamahas R&D work.....Well, We've seen the story with Rainey. Wayne could win on a Yam that no one else could. After his crash, Yamaha went to a very dark place....The place where Ducati is today.

While it is his prerogative to change his program as he chooses, the results are sure to remain the same. Rossi will never be a front runner again. He is in the twilight of his career. He is so popular, that people will themselves to believe that it can all be good again. They believe him when he says the problem is something other than him. It is him. The proof was plain to see in the last race. Lorenzo slows down the pace to allow other Yamaha riders to crash the party, only none are capable of keeping even that pace, including Rossi. He simply is not hungry enough to ride on the hairy edge. I think the wind left his sails after he broke his leg. If he still had the fire to win within him, he would have done better on the Ducati and on the Yamaha this year. Next year won't be any better for him, regardless of who he surrounds himself with. I like him and wish him well. I don't want to see him go away. But at the same time, I don't want to see his legacy tarnished. It's a tough decision when to quit, but one that was made by the likes of Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson. They were there to win, not just hang around.

Despite the fact that Valentino has had yet another less than desirable season, and that he finished 4th, he generates more comment and newsprint than the three who finished ahead of him.
That's why I think he's sticking around - getting well paid to be the poster-boy for MotoGP.
Maybe also there's a hint of not wanting to stop - me, I finished playing Aussie Rules football in my late 20's, my brother kept going until he was 60.......some blokes just can't let go.

Have moved on for both JB and Vale? Personally, I feel Vale has come to a point where his age is starting to affect the quantum level adjustments required to ride these bikes to their ultimate level, perhaps its time that CE, Hayden and Vale moved to a different paddock. Please do not interpret this as a slight towards them, as they have been just so good for the sport, but new YOUNG blood is coming and is needed. We've just had the youngest MotoGP champ crowned, make him fight with other twenty somethings, sure there will be an immediate kick back from the 'die hard fans', however we loved the Doohans, Crivilles, Raineys, Swantzs, etc in their day. Its just time, that's all. And let's celebrate Rossi's true greatness when he does retire, I dont want the 'Ducati front and centre' but rather the sublime last lap passes, the spectacle of his victories, and his ability to 'fight back and win the title, even when things went wrong'. I just loved his racing.

JB is in the same position. The technology required to keep these beasts roaring is past JB (not sure his replacement was picked on this basis, though I think Rossi should've picked a 'techo turned manager' of about 35 -40 to provide the computer settings feed back required).

Time to go for a whole host of great champions both on the bike and feeding it, a new different generation is waiting to take us forward again.

34 ain't old.

I don't know where you people are getting your information but an endurance athlete peaks right about where VR is in the early mid 30's , I don't think 34 is "old" by any standard. Biaggi and Checa both got titles at 40, so did Balyss. OK those are WSBK but they were competing with a truckload of youngsters.

I think Rossi's problem has more to do with the bad experiences that he has had that none of the other kids have had, and I have said this before and nobody seems to notice, Rossi basically hit Sic with his own bike on that dark day, just like CE5 and that's an experience that will slow you down even if you try to forget and go around it. CE has also been relegated to the back of the pack after that.Same thing with Alex de Angelis after Tomizawa. You need to take into account the psychological aspect of this dangerous game and the mental scars that you can get and if having a close friend killed at the track will slow you down for a year (my own experience) just imagine that you hit him yourself and sent him to the great beyond, albeit accidentally. That's why Rossi can't get that last 1% to hang with the wonder kiddos, not because "he's 34" , that's really a silly theory. I think he needs more a psychologist than a crew chief.


However his performances diminished with the move to Ducati.

Perhaps JB provided too much optimism to Vale about his ability to fix the Duke? Hence his exit from Vale's team.

Why do you think that its an endurance sport? If anything its more to do with balance (e.g. ballet) and sensitivity to the feedback the bike is providing (perhaps hand line fishing?), sure strength and endurance are required but you won't get anywhere near these guys without sublime 'God-like' levels of bike control.

34 is probably old if you're 20 years old?

Aging affects people in different ways, what's happening to Vale will determine his future, as it does all of us. He will age in accordance with his own inbuilt genetic timer, which may have already given him its own signal, then it will be a choice he makes or one which is forced upon him (which I truly hope does not happen to the great man).

Pschologically? He must be in pain, firstly for the loss of his friend, secondly for the subsequent performances since Ducati, and now his sacking of his long time manager and friend - how else could he feel?

It's all a part of the bigger plan... Silvano is going to work with Rossi not to get Rossi back to the front of the field, but to get up to speed on the ins and outs of the Yamaha himself, with the assistance of Rossi... then Stoner is going to come back and ride the Yamaha to the 2015 title, with Rossi now the Yamaha team manager.