Valentino Rossi Splits With Jeremy Burgess, Seeks New Crew Chief

Valentino Rossi has decided to seek a new crew chief. After 14 seasons working together, in which the pair have amassed 7 world championships, Rossi and Jeremy Burgess are to part ways, and Yamaha are actively seeking a replacement for the Australian veteran. Rossi had taken the decision after a disappointing season with Yamaha, after being unable to match the pace of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, and Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

'It is true that next year Jerry won't be my chief mechanic,' Rossi told the press conference. The decision had not been taken lightly, he said. 'It was a very difficult decision for me because I have a great history with Jeremy. He is not just my chief mechanic. He is like part of my family. My father in racing.' Rossi felt he had been forced to make a decision to try to make a change, to regain his competitiveness. 'I've decided for next year I need to change something to try to find new motivation and to have a boost to improve my level, my speed. So this will be my last race together with Jeremy.'

Rossi had made the decision five days ago, he told reporters, but had waited until Valencia to tell Burgess, once he could tell him himself. 'We spoke today, face to face. Next year will be crucial and I need new motivation. In the last few races I've felt I wanted to work in a different way. It was a difficult choice to make. Yamaha had asked me some time ago, but I decided recently.' No decision had yet been made about a replacement, and it was unclear whether Burgess would be present at the test.

News that Rossi was seeking to have Burgess replaced first emerged from Tavullia, and was reported on the PU24 website, which reports on news around the Tavullia region. That report cited Rossi's dissatisfaction with a lack of results since his return to Yamaha, and anger at comments Burgess had made in which he questioned whether Rossi had lost his edge with age. At Valencia, Rossi denied any such reports: 'I know this only yesterday from the newspaper, but no, it's not for that,' he told Tammy Gorali, MotoGP commentator for the Israeli Sport 5 channel.

The decision had been extremely hard. 'For me is a very difficult decision, in fact I need a lot of time, but was for sure very not happy, but he said he could understand. But sincerely I don't  know if he will do something next year or stay at home.' Burgess had taken the news calmly, Rossi said, but he was also clearly upset by the news. Asked how Burgess had responded, Rossi replied 'Very quiet. I wanted to say to him directly, because anyway I take the decision five days ago. But we spoke together alone, and I tried to explain that I need something different for next year, something new, some new boost, some new motivation, and he said he's very sorry, because he want to continue, but he understand. But very quiet.'

It had been important to tell Burgess face-to-face, Rossi said, and it had been a very sad moment for him as well. 'It's a sad day for me, very much. But very good that we speak anyway directly together, man-to-man, face-to-face.' 

Rossi had not been considering the decision for very long, however. Some months ago, he said, Yamaha had asked him what his intentions were for 2014, and Rossi had told them at the time that he wanted to continue. However, as results failed to improve much, Rossi had started to have doubts, and felt he needed to make a change before making a decision on his own future in racing. 'For me next year is very important, to try to make a bit better in the tests and the first half of the season, because I have to decide whether to continue or not,' Rossi said.

Rossi hoped that the remainder of his tight-knit crew would remain, but he said he would understand if some felt they would prefer to leave. 'We have to speak, I don't know if somebody want to change job because Jerry is not with me, or go in some other part, but I am happy if all the crew remain.'

Rossi had first consulted Yamaha about the decision, before telling Burgess himself. Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, told Tammy Gorali 'We discussed together, but basically Vale decided after much consideration, and then he shared it with the team management if we could accept his decision, and we said, OK, the relation between rider and crew chief is essential, is crucial, is most important, so if the rider decides he wants to change, you must listen to the rider.'

Jarvis told Gorali he would also be sad to see Burgess leave. 'I've known him for 10 years, closely. Jeremy's a good friend, I hope he will always remain a good friend, and I think he's a respected guy in the paddock and he's done a great deal for Vale and also for Yamaha, so I regret to see Jeremy not take that position any more. And I hope we will retain our friendship into the future.' There had not been a decision on who would replace Burgess, but Jarvis admitted he was already talking to a few people, although he declined to name any names.

Rossi's decision to drop Burgess appears to be a prelude to a decision on his own future in racing. Earlier this year, Rossi had said that he intended to sign up for another couple of years after the 2014, with an eye to retiring at the end of 2016. But as results have failed to come, Rossi must first determine whether the problem lies with him, or if it was down to the way the crew have worked.

Burgess has enjoyed great success in the premier class, winning titles with Rossi, Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner as crew chief, and having worked with Erv Kanemoto when he was crew chief to Freddie Spencer. But Burgess is over 60, and after his wife fell ill last year, there were some thoughts he could retire when Rossi left Ducati. If Rossi is to continue racing, there are no guarantees that Burgess will not retire early.

If Rossi has doubts about Burgess, then now is the time to replace him. It is also the one major factor in the bike equation which will allow Rossi to tell if he is still capable of running with the front runners, or whether he is past his prime himself. If a change of crew chief brings Rossi success, then he knows that he can continue racing. If Rossi continues to circulate in the same position as this year, then he knows that the problem was not with the crew chief, but with himself. Burgess was the only variable Rossi had at his control, and switching Burgess out was his best bet of judging his own level again.

Yet there is also good reason to believe that the issue lies with Rossi himself. At 34 years of age, Rossi is past his peak and may just be losing his first touch of speed. That touch is the difference between winning races and missing out on podiums, a prospect Rossi clearly does not relish. If Rossi cannot be more competitive next year, then the chances of him deciding to call it a day seem very large.

Although Rossi has worked with Burgess for 14 years, it is not unusual to make a change. As in all professional sports, when the results don't come, something has to change, in search of new success. Loyalty only stretches so far in any sporting environment, and results are the only thing that count. Neither Burgess nor Rossi enjoy not being able to win, but only Rossi has the power to make a change.

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I hope you retire - from leading premier level racing teams anyway - and enjoy your life with your wife. You've earned it!

As for Valentino, I think we've now seem him blame everything he possibly could, except for himself... the game has moved on, he's still a legend of the sport, but his time is coming soon as well. And unlike a lot of successful racers he can retire with his body mostly intact, and that alone is something to be thankful for.

Total votes: 222

... will do whatever he damn pleases, but I'd rather he stick around in MGP. Does Hayden have a Crew Chief at Aspar yet?

As for Rossi, I'd suggest WSBK in 2015.

Total votes: 176

and I don't think much has changed in terms of champions and getting older, has it???? And it's not only Vali feeling it at the minute, Jorge's feeling the heat as well.

Hungry Young Men
(for players, cycle around G C and D)
Yes, when you were the hunter it all seemed so right.
But it’s much harder now to sleep soundly at night,
Now you’re older and wiser, but you don’t have the fight.
Of all of the hungry young men.
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
You fall to the hungry young men

They come looking for you and there’s nowhere to hide.
The young lion grows old and has to give up his pride
You’re starting to feel like you’re attacked from all sides
There’s no rest from the hungry young men.
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
You fall to the hungry young men

They say all of our idols eventually fall
Their tales and their glories they fade and grow small
And the once-shiny trophies collect dust on the wall
Made dull by the hungry young men.
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
You fall to the hungry young men

When you were the hunter is all seemed such fun
Now you’re starting to fade from all that time in the sun
It’s like you’re under the pump, and under the gun
Feeling hunted by hungry young men.
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
You fall to the hungry young men

© David Burne 2011, Control

Total votes: 243

Of all the things I am proud of about, I am most proud of the readers. Truly exceptional. That poem is an example, thank you very much for posting it, it was wonderful.

Total votes: 184

Pretty poor way to end a relationship with someone who has acheived more championships in GP than any rider. Wouldn't you just let him retire quietly?

Total votes: 229

Incredible disrespect shown to the very man who hand delivered the bikes that allowed him an opportunity to succeed as he has. Without that bike, without that team - he doesn't have 7 chips. Simple.

This is tasteless imho, and it gets worse the more I ponder on it.

Total votes: 250

And to all those voting down comments like this, articulate it. Don't hide behind the rating shytstem alone.

Total votes: 207

... this is the only way to see whether Rossi really can succeed without JB, right? Should be interesting.
I have to admit it left a sour taste in my mouth at first, but I kind of understand. Rossi is in the winter of his (MotoGP) career, so if this doesn't work (anymore), he has to try something else. I don't think he is saying 'it's JB's fault'.

Total votes: 189

To get this correct, JB questions whether or not Vale has lost his edge after almost two decades in the sport and after having achieved more than most riders will ever dream. Vale responds by sending him to pasture in order to find his motivation...
Doesn't this connfirm what JB stated?
I am really disappointed to see this; this wasn't about "motivation" but about power and spite for having an honest, and more than likey rhetorical, conversation.
Finding motivation after winning as much as Vale has must certainly be difficult, but it must also come from within. He has to find what is holding him back and from a computer chair, I don't see how a guy you were sympatico with for years suddenly becomes the problem.

Very poor taste and not the kind of decision I would expect to see from an smazing "peoples champion". This smacks of desparation. Not sure what else to say.

Total votes: 177

I strongly disagree that respect for Burgess would be shown by keeping this quiet until the winter break. That is how a change would be made for a minor figure in the team. JB is no minor figure. Indeed, he's been a lion in the sport for decades. He is news-worthy. When his status changes, it should be announced at a GP event, in front of the assembled teams and the press. Even if it is unpleasant news, such as getting fired by Rossi. Having that press conference is recognition of JB's high position in the sport.

Total votes: 186

First off, there is no good way to end a relationship like this. I think Rossi has handled it about as honorably as you can.

As to why? Given the last four seasons (first he loses to Lorenzo and discovers he's no longer the top dog in the sport, then two disastrous years at Ducati that CAN be blamed on the bike, now back at Yamaha but still not running with the top three) Rossi is now questioning whether he has it or not anymore. Obviously, if he can prove to himself that he's still got it, he going to go thru 2016. If not, its starting to look like he's going to call it quits next year.

He's got to shake up every other possible variable, leaving himself as the only constant (or as close to a constant that aging will allow). He's swapped bikes, and the Duck was so bad that nobody was saying that he'd lost it those two years. Back to a good bike, still not getting the expected results, so the next factor is the crew and setup. Looking at it this way, it was inevitable, although none of us were seeing it.

If the results are no better next year, then you start looking at the final alternative: That Rossi has aged into only being another competent, professional rider. Which is inevitable for someone who does not have the ability to see the future and quit at the top moment.

Total votes: 188

He stated that every other member of the team is welcomed back, so how much "shaking up" is actually being done?
There is more to this and i think it must be personal - reminds me of the spat with Sete G.

Total votes: 174

Rossi never blamed JB, Rossi wanted atleast couple of more years in motogp, whereas JB is planning only one more,, Rossi wants to prove himself again to yamaha for contract extension in 2015...

Imho Rossi has made a correct decision because he wants new motivation, may be both JB and Vale look at problems and solutions in similar way as both are together for a very long term and Rossi wanted someone who has a different perspective... Sometimes its good to step out of your comfort zone and look for something risky and exciting...

Hats off to Jeremy Burgess,he was always entertaining on the camera.I am looking forward to the special BBC will do on JB at Valencia pre-race.
All the best to both the Doctor and his chief surgeon.

Total votes: 178

Rossi was also quick to ditch Michelin, who provided him with years of top level service and multiple titles, after their problems in adapting to the new tire supply rules.

OTOH, JB is a straight talker and possibly Rossi hearing him say that maybe the rider doesn't have it anymore to the media in several instances was not what a rider trying to regain his top level form needs. Not that JB was not doing the utmost job he could to get the best bike setup but a lot of the last .1% of performance is found in the rider's head and that needs to be properly torqued as assiduously as any conrod bolt. Hearing your crew chief say the new guys are just plain faster is sure to be an impediment at some level. Rossi still has one more year under contract and the last thing he could change was replacing JB. I think the hope is that someone younger and fresher will help Rossi find the motivation to learn the new tricks and close the gap to the leaders. Not likely, but it is Rossi we're talking about so anything is possible.

Personally, I think next year will be his last season, especially if he gets a couple more wins, as that will allow him to leave on a high note. What was going on at Yamaha for them to think Rossi would sign again to '16 and ditching Crutchlow as a result smacks of tunnel vision.


You voted 2. Total votes: 174

And most importantly, thanks for the years of entertainment you given all of us JB. His record is simply second to none. I'm a little shocked by the timing of this, but as David's said, it's the one thing Valentino has control over. And also as above, no one goes bike racing to toddle round in 4th, least of all Yamaha Factory Racing. It's a very bold move. I hope it pays off.

Lots of things to think over and discuss.

Is this Valentino's last throw of the dice...for me, probably. If he does get more results. The next point is SHOULD he stay on till '16. In my opinion, no. That will be the final point he has to prove.

Total votes: 174

... beautiful and simultaneously heartbreaking about how this has gone down. One of the most iconic partnerships in all of racing, this split is just the reality of time gradually wearing us all down as we try and hang on as long as possible. I've admired both of these guys since I started following racing, they've each excelled well past their peers and should be extremely proud of that. I hope Burgess can rebound and not hold a grudge as Rossi gives it one last go.

Total votes: 206

Clearly Rossi has not yet given up.

A new crew chief could perhaps give him the last few tenths he needs to catch "Los tres caballeros" and race them for wins and podiums.

He's probably found someone who's excited about new technologies and have ambitious creative ideas on how to solve the rider/mechanics/electronics equation.

Sad to see Burgess go but at the same time I'm looking forward to seeing who'll take his place...Marquez team is about to free few of the former Stoner's crew. Is that just a coincidence or a bit of a clue?

Total votes: 187

I think Mr, Rossi is in denial, here's 34, fighting in a young man's game. Sure the Yamaha's; at least his has not been consistently compeitive this year, but it's unfortunate that the his crew chief takes the heat for his eroding skills. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Rossi fan but also a realist.

Total votes: 219

It's sad that Jerry won't be with Rossi next year but it begs the question who has the qualifications to replace him? Gabbarini isn't going to leave Honda. Any possibility Nicky Hayden's 2006 head mechanic Pete Benson could be swayed from Marc VDS? He declined the offer to move up to Gresini with Scott Redding but Is Rossi a big enough carrot these days to change his mind?

Total votes: 177

As an Australian fan I find this really dissapointing to read this morning. I think JB has sacrificed a lot for Vale, a lot of time with family, and most importantly when JB's wife learned she had Cancer, JB still came back to Vale and treated him as family. To be tossed aside by Vale as an excuse for why he isn't competitive at an age when he should be gracefully retiring, shows you the arrogance of the man but also, the level of denial that VR46 has about his ability versus Jorge, Marc, and Dani. Rossi will only ever be the 4th man from here on, or worse.

Nice song, very apt.

Total votes: 226

I agree for the most part.

Such disrespect shown. Incredible. His arrogance never ceases to amaze me.

Total votes: 206

Does that mean every Italian should stick with Rossi in this?

Total votes: 185

ElPedro76, but I'm sure I heard / read/ made up in my own head that Pete Benson is not that interested in coming back to the premier class. More informed minds than mine I hope will put me right on this. And also would this be putting Valentino back in the same position? He's clearly after a new direction, and quickly. Quite who that will be I honestly have NO clue.

Total votes: 172

I think the problem now is that the level of the sport went up in the last few years, and Rossi hasn't been able to go with it. Even he's said that the top guys do 'tricks' he finds difficult to master now. That said I don't blame him for dumping Burgess at this stage. He has nothing to lose now really and I had read a few comments by Burgess where he said he didn't believe Rossi could contend for wins and titles anymore.. Which is maybe just very pragmatic but I think a rider wants more belief from his crew chief than that.

Maybe a return with Stoner at Honda could reinvigorate JB in 2015..

Total votes: 188

If Gabbarini gets pushed out by HRC to make room for MM's people, why wouldn't he want to go to Rossi/Yamaha?

Total votes: 197

Gabbarini is still a senior technical advisor for HRC. He will have a lot more opportunity staying pit even if he's pushed out of Marquez's side of the garage.

What does he gain jumping ship to yamaha? Even if Valentino is successful over season his time in motogp is approaching its conclusion.

Total votes: 179

Gabbarini is part of HRC engineering department now, i doubt he will be released by HRC. They have been impressed by his technical input, and in fact have stated they would like MORE engineers with the caliber of Christian to work in their department

Total votes: 166

....the right to do as he wishes 2014 and beyond. The statement that he was quiet and apologetic to Rossi in their one to one conversation tells me he may just take his spanners and head home to Australia. However if the fire still burns in JB's belly, he may want to work with Redding next year to see if he's still got it.
Make no mistake about it, crew chiefs like to win as much as the riders, the last couple years couldn't have been easy for Mr. Burgess.

Total votes: 184

worms? Remember all the arguments when Rossi switched to Ducati and suddenly it was no longer black and white as to how much of Rossi's previous successes were supposedly due to his brilliance alone?

I wonder if we are going to start hearing that it was JB's fault that Rossi couldn't ride the duc since it would seem that it's JB's fault Rossi hasn't had his ailen card reinstated.

Would dearly love for JB to stay but as many above have stated he has done his time and given so much and no one would blame him for just walking away. Just don't think he and CS will be getting together for a beer anytime soon. :-)

Total votes: 195

A shame that it could not be announced as a mutual agreement to part ways, even if it was not.
Especially after such a long (and until recently) successful partnership.

Total votes: 193

Whose at fault, Rossi losing his alien card? First Rossi blamed Ducati, now he blames Jeremy. Come on put the blame where it really belongs. Vale should have written a note to the doctor with a permanent marker on his broken leg. "Please don't take my testicles, I'm still racing." So put the blame on the doctor.
I've been a Vale fan for 10 years. He's the G.O.A.T. ,but I just can't stand seeing him owning 4th place week after week.

Total votes: 198

Valentino Rossi was for many years my favourite rider and seeing him win was something that gave me great happiness. I began losing my respect for him when he first kicked and cried for the Bridgestone tyres and then put a wall between himself and Lorenzo. In his first year Lorenzo showed that everything was not necessarily down to the tyre with podiums on Michelin tyres. Here I would like to say that Burgess himself is not innocent. He categorically stated that all the information from their side of the garage was going to Lorenzo and he was benefitting from it. Along with Rossi he too was a part of the team that served the ultimatum to Yamaha about choosing between Rossi and Lorenzo.

It was this that led to the ill fated move to Ducati, Rossi's first big mistake. Stoner rightly laughed at both Rossi and Burgess (rightly so) but more so at Burgess whom Stoner accused of saying stupid things like making the Ducati a winner was a small job that could be accomplished in minutes. The good thing with Rossi and Burgess was that they had great egos and when they were succeeding all was fine. When they were not, it was still fine since nobody was succeeding on the Ducati anyway.

Now the situation is different. Lorenzo is going great guns on the Yamaha and is leaving Rossi behind by huge margins by the end of the race. Not bad for somebody who according to Burgess did not know how to set up the bike for racing. Since Rossi can no longer blame the bike like he could at Ducati, he has to find a new fall guy and sadly for Burgess, it is him he chose for that role. Burgess has had his egoistic moments but he does not deserve this treatment. But more importantly, I do not think Rossi (given his attitude) will find a crew chief with a magic wand who will propel him to the front of the field and make a World Champion out of him. Rossi should have retired when he decided to quit Yamaha, that would have been the best thing. He should have retired post Ducati, though his reputation would have been tarnished a large part of the blame would be apportioned on the Ducati. Now irrespective of what his results are like he should quit at the end of next year or Yamaha is likely to tell him to move it, just like he did to Burgess. That would be poetic justice.

Total votes: 213

Rossi is running out of excuses. First it was the wall in the pits when he was being beaten by Jorge - did nothing. Then getting Ducati to spend millions to redesign the entire frame of the bike umpteen times - again to no effect.
And just who could replace Jeremy & be better? No-one I know of. Burgess helped Gardener win 1 title, Doohan 5, and Rossi, what, 7?
He blames Yamaha when he left for asking he take a pay cut, he blamed Ducati for his miserable results time after time. Fact is Rossi in his heyday didn't have the competition he does now - I think that says a lot about his poor performance these last few years.
It's interesting to see his fans think this is accaptable, and might work. Dream on!
IMO it's a disgraceful act of betrayal and selfishness that will change nothing, and that only Rossi seems to be repeatably forgiven for by his blinkered fans.
Roll on the outraged responses!

Total votes: 214

when you think about it. It's a last choice (grasp?) by a great champion to try to hold onto what was once "his". JB was his only option for change and unfortunately, I don't think it'll make the difference he hopes it might.

The simple part is because it's as much the way the bikes need to be ridden as it is the level of competition now for Rossi's lack of wins and being a contender. Casey retired stating that it was no longer enjoyable for him. I read that as simply meaning that he no longer had full control of the bike like he's had before and he didn't like it. While he didn't say that in those words, that's what *I* took from it all. I think it's a lot the same for Vale. The M1 has been built around Jorge to start with. Add to that all the different "controls" that now dominate these machines, everything from wheelspin, wheelie control, fuel use, traction control, etc. to name but a few of the issues dictated by a chip now. Vale has not been able to adapt his style to get the optimum out of the newer bikes. He's quite close, but can't find that last 2% that makes up that other tenth or two.

I wish him well next year and in his retirement.

As for JB, not much more needs to be said as far as I'm concerned than to look at his record. I've always thought he was a top notch crew chief from the first time I met him when he was with Wayne. He not only won world championships with three different riders, but 3 riders that were quite a bit different from each other. Not to mention staying competitive on a variety of bikes as they transitioned from the 500, to the 990, 800 and now back to 1000cc. One of the things that always impressed me was how JB could make overnight changes at times that took a bike from a half second back to being at or faster than the previous days fast times. And yes, before anyone starts in about tire specials, I'm talking about after that time period as well.

While I'm sure JB will be offered numerous opportunities (I'd bet he's already got an offer to be Haydens CC if wanted), I hope he calls it good and enjoys time with his wife and family. He, and they, deserves that. Thanks for the many great years JB.

Total votes: 178

I largely agree Motomania. But there were 2 main reasons Casey retired. One as you said was the computerisation of the bikes - he made that very clear. But he also cleary said it was the media work, and implied the rabid hatred of so many fans, particularly the poms. I also suspect the death of Marco & the birth of his daughter contributed. He always said he didn't want to stay around for ever just to get more records and make more money - gotta respect that.
But sorry, I don't buy the idea that Rossi doesn't like the new bikes for the same reason as Casey. Great riders adapt to the flaws in bikes - witness Casey on his first year on that dodgy Honda (pole 1st race etc.), then jumping on a totally different beast (Ducati) and winning straight up. Then his first year on a works Honda he wins the WC. Besides, like other Europeans, in general they don't have the dirt track background of the Aussies & Yanks, so don't prefer sliding as much overall and hence aren't as bothered by TC.
And the Yamaha being built around Jorge? It's just an evolution of the Yamaha Rossi used to win on, and was built for him. It's not as if jumping on the Yamaha 3 years after he left is like jumping on something completely different like the Duke.
And I agree completely with your comments on Jeremy, he's a legend & great guy. I think he should retire, given his age & the fact he's got nothing to prove.
And to think of his incredible loyalty to Rossi when his wife was diagnosed with cancer, only to be betrayed so Rossi can find something else to blame again.

Most of Rossis crew are Aussies who have been with JB for many years. I wouldn't be surprised to see at least some of them leave next year due to Rossis decision.

Total votes: 191

Rossi has certainly placed himself in a position where, if his results don't improve, he's going to look damn silly, somewhat desperate and also lacking in self-critical judgement. Who knows the full story, other than Rossi, JB and probably Lyn Jarvis? If Rossi felt it was set-up issues and JB increasingly felt it was rider issues, then the continent of Team Rossi had fractured tectonically and no bridge would have been sufficient.

But as for your conclusions about Stoner? - did you miss P.I. 2012? Stoner was hardly not 'in full control of the bike' - or did you miss his team-mate decking it while trying to hold him at bay and throwing his last chance at the WC that year? Did you miss the fact that Stoner had told Nakamoto he wanted to retire after P.I. 2010 - as reigning WC, after blitzing the field again pretty much all year? Did you miss the fact that HRC had sufficient confidence in him to offer him $15m to stay?

Rossi is obviously disgruntled about his results, and he has taken the last roll of the dice option. Stoner's decision had to do with things he knew he could not affect: the technical direction of motoGp he didn't like, the media attention and duties, the politics, the ineptitude of Race Direction to act for the safety of all riders... and vastly, Ezpeleta (the Monty Burns of motorcycle racing).

Rossi has fired a crew chief with almost twice the number of premier-class WC's to his name as Rossi has himself. The seeds of his dissatisfaction were highly evident during the latter period at Ducati, and JB was heard to mutter occasionally that Rossi didn't have his heart in it.

If you want a wild theory session, here's a contrary view: Rossi joined Ducati with a burning desire to show Stoner up (he's never really hated any other rider as much as he hates Stoner - he toyed with Biaggi and Gibernau like a cat with a mouse in each case, but Stoner rankled deeply and perhaps ultimately, terminally). He went back to Yamaha with Stoner's immediate success on his return to Honda as a template for laying the 'rider' element to rest and that hasn't worked out - even with Stoner missing from the grid. Now, Marquez is poised to eclipse Rossi's own record of a WC in each class at the second attempt (in motoGp) by taking it on his first attempt. And to really rub salt in the wound, people keep comparing Marquez and Stoner - not Marquez and Rossi.

The FIM doesn't award 'legend' status to crew chiefs. Just perhaps they should consider doing that for JB.

(edit with further thoughts:)

Gabbarini to replace JB? Given the brouhaha within the HRC team between Alzamorra (spelling?) and Puig (though that may be bought to a quick resolution if Marquez clinches the title this weekend) I'd think it most unlikely Nakamoto would not want Gabbarini in there to keep the kids from spitting at each other and scratching their eyes out. Further, it seems from the proddie performance, the combination of Nakamoto, Gabbarini and Stoner make a pretty damn good development team.

And would Rossi want someone as his crew chief who wears headphones with #27 on them in the pit box?

And finally - if Stoner is even taking any notice of all of this, he must be laughing right now like a hash freak with a kg. of finest on the table, half-used up. JB did not always endear himself to Stoner.

Total votes: 214

One of your finest comments Oscar.

Total votes: 179

Thoughtful, insightful and a little controversial no doubt.

I now have a vision of Carmelo steepling his hands...

Total votes: 176

Ezpeleta (the Monty Burns of motorcycle racing).

That is the funniest thing i have read in ages.

I need that today,


Total votes: 176

people should know me better than that. I've never been one to question Casey's talent. "he no longer had full control of the bike like he's had before and he didn't like it" meant just exactly what was written, not what you insinuated. That does not say he could not control his bike. In fact, I state that the traction, throttle, wheelspin, wheelie, fuel consumption controls, etc. are at the root of that issue. The rider no longer has true control of the motorcycle, the chip does. Now, if you would like to continue to berate me because of those points then bring it on. Talk about missing things, did that statement from me get missed or did you simply choose to not take in that part of the comment?

As for my statements about JB, I stand by them. When it comes to crew chiefs, he's at the head of the list for me. You don't win 13 MotoGP championships with 3 different riders by not knowing what the hell to do. For those that don't think I mean that, I invite you to read the post I made on Suzie Houseworth's Facebbok wall. Part of it reads "However, this isn't something he just thought about. With Yamaha asking him earlier in the year if he wanted to change, he should have done it then instead of waiting till four days before the season ends. I was stunned at the announcement during the press conference and even more stunned at the timing. Damn little class shown here Vale. You're better than that dude, I'm disappointed."

As for your Rossi vs Stoner crap? Really? C'mon now and get serious. You've got more class than to play that hand or at least I'd thought so. This bullshit of who's the better champion is just that and is the main reason I disappeared from the forums here. Both Casey and Vale are valid champions. They've won multiple MotoGP championships over the years and both can ride a motorcycle unlike any other, each with their own style and flair. I refuse to get pulled into the cauldron of defecation and fan boi type bashing of any of the riders. All of them that have gotten there, whether it's those at the front of the pack or at the rear, all deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for giving us a great show to watch at each event. To demean any of them because of what they haven't accomplished is simple crap.

Total votes: 173

I suspect the "interferences in communication signal" between VR and JB have been going for quite some time now, and I would guess this forced separation was just the culmination of such issues.
I honestly expected JB to communicate a desire to retire sometime very soon and do so, but never to see VR to fire a solid pilar that was part of his own successful career. That was not the most respectfull conclusion to such a long term, successful relation.

JB may be old now, his wife back at home, retirement whispering on the back of his head, etc, but if there's someone that knows most (all?) of the tricks in the business, that's got to be JB.

So with that said, and looking at the near future, I would actually love to see JB appear with NH#69 for next year, as his crew chief, back in business and in form as much as possible.
It would never be a fight for the championship, but that would be a phenomenal "underdog team", to follow results and cheer for every weekend of races!

Total votes: 187

Plenty of good comments already. I would only add - who would want the job?
If Rossi wins more than once it will be because of Rossi. If he does the same or worse, than it will be the new crew chiefs fault.

Total votes: 191

And when he runs out of crew chiefs, it will be the fault of other crew members, or a demand that Yamaha redesign the bike from the ground up to suit him. If that happens, I can just imagine the laughter at Yamaha HQ.

Total votes: 206

...and what I what I believe will be the "big problem" with this choice by Rossi.

As you very well wrote: "If Rossi wins more than once it will be because of Rossi. If he does the same or worse, than it will be the new crew chiefs fault."

Obviously, there should be a great deal of money involved in such contract, plus a glorious chance to work with a multi-champion and factory team (though in the other hand it may be complicated given the possible rider's ego and influence by past successes), so I suppose interested and capable candidates won't be missing.

Total votes: 175

I was actually starting to warm up to Rossi again after years of disliking his arrogance. Since his ill fated move to Ducati and lack of competitiveness this year it seemed he had learnt some humility, but this move suggests not.

As for JB, what an absolute legend.

Total votes: 193

JB had some arrogance too when they went to Ducati. He said the bike was just a few tweaks from success ...

Total votes: 184

There's not a lot to argue about what he said, but context is important. They were new to Ducati, and that's the public face they had to present.
As I've written in this forum more than once over the last 3 years, I heard Burgess speak shortly after they moved to Ducati. It was a private charity fundraiser organised via Aussie journo Hamish Cooper, but was never the subject of any official articles. When questioned on the professionalism and quality of the Ducati GP effort, Burgess said "What quality?", and gave a wry laugh. He then went on to explain how the Ducati had no consistent design approach in regard to standardised nuts and bolts even, and that to change the Ducati's rear tyre took 5 or 6 tools, compared with 2 at Yamaha.
So I think the public comments masked a very different private opinion. I don't think that was arrogance, that was marketing..... :-)

Total votes: 177

Agree with nearly all the comments so far. Especially with regard to the manner of JB's sacking. Why the hell couldn't Rossi at least allow JB to retire (for health reasons, family reasons whatever) rather than a public sacking?! Yes, JB has allowed his faith in Rossi to slip a little, but does that demand public execution after all the titles he assisted in producing for Rossi? I think not. Unacceptable behaviour. I once admired Rossi.

Total votes: 179

I gues there are only a few people who really know what's the reason of this decision and I also gues that these peaople are not giving comments on Let's wait and see what happens next year. I do agree on the fact that imo that JB is one of the best people you could possibly want as crew chief, but hey, everything comes to an end. I really liked the poem by the way!

Total votes: 179

I don't subscribe to the view "that Rossi is running out of excuses" I think he knows the problem might well be him" And he's well aware of the risk he's taking in that a new crew chief might not net him any better results and it will confirm the fact he's just not simply fast enough any more. And make him look a little unkind to boot. He just feels he owes it to himself to switch it up one last time and see if he can get to the front.

Total votes: 198

Once again truly amazed at the amount of emotions thrown into this basket, predominantly negative emotions about Rossi and assuming that JB is shocked and bitter about this move. People forget that they are friends, have gone through victory and hardship together. Is it that Rossi is playing the elimination games , reason of deduction, rule out all other variables and then blame himself?

He did not blame jB for the lack of results, although the negative minds read that into this release. From an aviation background I know it's hard to keep up with the young guns, they are so switched on with electronics. It takes a 40 year old weeks to learn new equipment and only days for a young fella.

Both JB and VR are matured individuals who understand business, relationships and personal interaction. jB needed convincing to go to Ducati, I believe he wanted to retire, and again going to Yamaha same story.

Respect the legend JB who is a great man and noble enough to speak for himself. I think many underestimate how Rossi is to his friends and inner circle, just look at his picnic in Japan.

Ultimately when Rossi retires he will say that he was too old, lost the speed, lost the edge, till then he will eliminate the variables to maximize his results, like any warrior would.

Make my words, JB and VR will be friends till one of them departs this world.

Total votes: 207

It's been some time that JB's statements and general behaviour in the garage seems to lack motivation. Can't blame him, after all he's won and after the difficult circumstances that he's faced with his wife's illness. But since Rossi feels like he wants to try for a 10th world title a huge disparity between the goals of the rider and his crew chief emerges. That obviously needs to be solved somehow.

Another element I have noticed this season is the relative lack of improvement on Rossi's time through the weekend. It happened often that Rossi would be on top or close to the top of the time sheets at the end of Friday and would have trouble improving his time come Saturday. To me this is a problem with setting the bike up and even if it's not all JB's fault, it's clear that something has to change for Rossi to find those improvements necessary to be challenging for the podium/win on Sunday.

All that being said, the way this has happened is a bit tactless, to say the least. Even if you're Rossi you can't fire JB, especially one year before his planned retirement. In any case, this doesn't change the respect for JB, felt by all of us I assume. And even if Rossi never makes it to a podium next year, you can't exactly blame him of making the wrong decision. I think Rossi's personality and approach to these dilemmas is very nicely summarized by his autobiography title "What if I had never tried it"

Total votes: 180

I think Rossi had made statements confirming that he knows these younger guys are very fast riders and that the standard as higher than ever.

Rossi hasn't got near enough to the front this season, but what he has shown is that he's always up for a race to the finish, even if it's only for 4th, so I don't think he's lost the will to race and fight. I witnessed one with Bautista at Silverstone, it was as good as MM v JL at the front. There have been a number of these really good races this year, with CC too.

I'm surprised at this decision but then not so much when I think about it. Neuro makes a very good point that his times start well on a weekend and then don't improve, so, is that the support?

My instinct is that he just ain't as fast as he used to be, but he clearly feels he should be up the front, so this is probably the last throw of the dice.

I don't buy the critisisms about excuses BTW; all riders moan about their bikes & set-up, nearly all the time (the 'nearly' being except when they've won).

We'll see next year.

In the meantime - bring on Sunday!

Total votes: 180

It shows me that the Rossi that pushes his enemies into the gravel at the last corner or punches them in the face on the stairway towards the podium is not dead yet!
The mean bastard that is hidden behind his flamboyant laughter is what has gotten him 9 titles and is the key factor that divides him from the rest and is obviously still driving him.
And I´m greatful for that as a fan.

When I first heard that he sacked JB I couldn´t believe it either, but at second thought i was simply amazed about how aggressive Rossi still is and that he is even willing to fire JB in a true conviction of his believe in himself.
He still thinks he is the best and that he can compete for a title but thinks that he has to reinvent the way his team is working (obviously because how electronically matters have gotten nowadays).
I can imagine that good ´ol JB was not on the edge anymore if it was about TC and fuel mappings
(even though there is a specialist for each area of expertise, but the crew chief has to set the tone in dealing with the priorities of these items).

So anyways: I´m looking forward to next season allready ; whether VR can fuck things up at the top and how he will compete.

Total votes: 179

No surprise to see plenty of foo using the quiet retirement of one of the sports greats as a soapbox to sling muck at Rossi. The only real surprise is that they actually believe they have a positive effect on the sport and are somehow adding something of value?? A great Man JB who deserves better on his retirement( that he's wanted for some years now) than the complete slagging off of his most successful rider and era. The same folk who have been saying for 5 years Rossi is too old seem to think that JB never will be. A great career and THE greatest partnership in motogp history, but when your teammate is 30 years older than you do you really expect to retire at the same time(not a one of those complaining would agree, not one.). I personally would be sick to the back teeth of folk telling me I should retire because my colleague of 30 years senior is(Furasawa anyone?). Does anyone really believe that JB is at the same level as some of the younger engineers who have grown up with electronics?? Please see the Rossi still racing argument... Contradiction abounds... Thanks JB for an incredible contribution to the sport.. You will be missed sorely by most of us. Good luck in the future with all you do... baa..

Total votes: 206

Is Burgess retiring? I haven't read that anywhere myself. Probably yes, but that's not what's happened here.

This was a public sacking - rightly or wrongly - but say it as it is.

If JB had chosen to retire, then he would have announced it himself - but given the extreme sacrifices he made just a short time ago; attending races with serious family issues - he clearly still has the desire to win and compete.

I've seen guys speak of retirement, only to have a life changing situation within their family life, which lead to them throwing themselves back into their work for another decade. Let's leave it to Jerry to decide what he does next, rather than us putting him out to pasture!

I believe he probably will retire now, but if so that will probably be because he won't want to start from scratch with a new team and rider, but I am certain that he would have seen out his time with Valentino if he was in position to.

Has Valentino made the right decision? Time will tell. New ideas can always be useful.

However, he has a very close team - and there may be some resentment, even if well contained, from the team that stay behind. Add that to a team that will need to learn to work differently for a new Chief, and maybe Valentino has left it too late, if this really is the route back for him.

Personally, I think Valentino is still fast. At 40 he could easily still run top 10, but at the very pointy end of the grid it's much tougher. He has lost some of his edge, but he is close enough still that the extra 0.1% he needs maybe could come from the bike.

Vale left Honda because "the rider is more important than the bike". Maybe so, but he has discovered the hard way that the bike is more important than he thought.

Total votes: 184

A very strange first few lines, Hugelean. Whatever you think of it, Rossi broke with JB, not the other way around.

Total votes: 187

than lies and I see no clear untruths in what Rossi is quoted as saying. I have no clear idea what makes a great crew-chief, yet JB clearly was one.
I also believe that Rossi still has the appetite for winning (agreed, there is a question over the ability) and the way he did this was a mark of the man. What he said about Burgess showed clear emotion and sadness. Like shooting an old dog. (and that analogy is not meant as a comment on JB, but Rossi's difficulty in doing this). His words were kind words but honest. JB will respect that - he's a no-bullshit type and wouldn't want to have been in some press conference either, no matter how flowery. He will be able to say what he wants in good time, and lots of people with have mic's waiting. The book should be good - I hope he writes it, or gets it done.
As for Rossi - he is taking every step he can to carry on winning - that is what this sport is about. That deserves respect because he's not going to fade away, he's fighting. Of course he's going down; he knows that. But he's fighting and I wish him success. It's not 2% he needs either. He is somewhere between 1/100th and 1/10th of % off the pace. Electronics and a few other tweaks can do that, and perhaps the Yamaha video released about Rossi's electronics man says more than we realised......JB wasn't in it, and electronics now dominate. Perhaps they will promote from within and bring more software knowledge to their fight.

Total votes: 193

Lots of people saying Rossi and Burgess should have made a joint "retirement announcement" to save face for JB.

Well, like it or not, JB is a straight shooting Aussie (similar to a certain rider who I won't name at this time.....) I can almost imagine their conversation:

"Eeeee Jerreeee, I aneeda new chieef so I cana push for the victoree"


"You wanna say you retire?"

"Nah, you sacked me. You can tell 'em."

Of course, we also overlook the fact that whilst JB probably will retire, he might want to think that over a little (I'd want more than a few hours to decide my future), and so his decision to retire or not will be made when he's ready; this aint Hollywood and not everything works on a poetic timescale.

Total votes: 187

Vale: Eeeee Jerreeee, I aneeda new chieef so I cana push for the victoree but leeeets sey you amissa your familia and a wanna retire.

JB: Mate, it's going to take a lot more than a new crew chief for you to win again.

Vale: You're fired!


PS: I can't do accents

Total votes: 195

I've been thinking about how a man loses his speed as he grows older. I consider technique and psychology are the two major components to go faster. I, myself as a poor and average street rider, have read almost all the theory and attended almost all the advanced riding and racing training that I can find. So I assume I have good amount of technique. However, when I'm out riding either on the road or on the track, there is always something keeps me doing what I know I should do on a given situation. I either feel I'm terrifying to push that handlebar that quick for example, or I feel like I would fall if I relax that muscle a bit. Hence, I couldn't reach the speed I aimed for. But some lucky moments, for a given barrier, I happen to close my eyes and just give it away. Say that I hit that bar as quickly as I want. Once I do that, it never bothers me again. Means that I'm now comfortable with it and I would always be able to do it. It adds up to the speed. As Keith Code put it there are those survival reactions I need to overcome. This is purely personal though. Every man has a certain unique set of fears or barriers or SRs... No external influence would be of any help to overcome those psychological barriers. I feel that I can only pass the next level by myself.

I've always admired Rossi. He is a man of his heart first. I believe he should have picked a lot to worry as he grows older. Tragic accident of late Simoncelli. A broken leg after so many uninjured years even though it's a given fact to racing. Miscalculated Ducati adventure. Traumatic family issues. You name it. Somehow he lost his comfort and self belief, I thought. And he is trying to defeat his worries and fears maybe. One can get very creative in solving his own riddles. Jerry's departure should shake him most than anyone else. He should have hoped that shake might help him to jump to the next level.

I would like to believe he is a brave man. He gets the attention to himself and gracefully embrace the bashing on Jerry's leave. I am not convinced this is a betrayal. He could have retired after Ducati, and claimed that it was Ducati's fault and he is still the GOAT. Or he would have retired while Jerry still on board and claimed that it was Jerry. But he left himself alone. Ensure that nobody else to blame afterwards. He is going to fight and if he lose, he will say it was him unable to fight again. I find this move very courageous, heroic and poetic.

I'm deeply saddened of them apart. But it doesn't take away anything from both Jerry and Vale for me.

Total votes: 205

To all of those here who again and again say that Rossi is too old ect. ONE WORD:John McGuinness (Age 41). He is competing against young guns and they come in busloads.They have the same equipment.Sure-he has more laps under his belt, but Ian Lougher has even more and there are ppl like Michael Rutter and the list goes on and on.The point is:You either have the talent or you don´t.John has it,Vale has it.Read my lips:Valentino Rossi is not too old to win a Championship in MotoGp!

Total votes: 203

Lots of naive comments here. I mostly agree with Neuro, Hislop and Hugelean.

Racing is about winning. That's all that matters, really. There's precious little room for sentiment and I think the writing has been on the wall since Lorenzo's arrival at Yamaha. It has been clear for a long time that the combo of Forcada and Lorenzo has been doing a better job than Burgess/Rossi. They've been faster out of the box and made better progression over the race weekends, not just this year, but for many years.

Now we will find out if that was Rossi's fault or Burgess' fault. It's not a foolish move at all. Arrogant, dishonourable, ungentlemanly and harsh perhaps, but pretty much the only thing Rossi could do to try to gild his laurels with a last few grams of gold at the end of a glittering career. I admire Rossi's determination to do everything he can to win. I believe him when he says it was a hugely difficult decision. But winning is more important than friendship or loyalty. That's racing, like it or not.

Don't feel too sorry for Burgess. He's had a great career and no doubt been paid handsomely. He's always come across as a top bloke and I mean no animosity towards him by these comments. But 60 is old for this technology game. Next year Jerry can put his feet up and watch the theatre as Rossi lays it on the line one last time. If the results don't come, which I believe is the most likely outcome, Jerry can feel vindicated. Rossi will have to admit he's lost his edge. There will be nothing left for him to blame (except maybe the Bridgestone front tyre which Casey warned everyone about - any moves to change that?).

Times move on and people fall by the wayside. First Burgess, next Rossi. That's how it goes, mate.

Total votes: 174

all true, but to misquote the song, there are 50 ways to leave your crew chief of 14 years, and this is not one of them.

Total votes: 184

Lots of great comments. I'm not a 46 fan, but I believe it's a bit of both sides.
I can't wait for JB to write his memoirs! He's worked with a lot of champions and his career has spanned 500GP, the 990's, 800's, and the new 1000's.
Good luck and fair sailing to him, whatever he decides to do in the future.

Total votes: 170

Out of respect alone Rossi should have eaten this one. That would have left JB with many more options professionally and saved face in the paddock. This why they call it the Pits. Shows the bad side of people.

Stoner may have summed it up best. You ran out of talent. That can be forgiven. Bad taste can not.

Total votes: 204

For Rossi to say that he made this decision a few days ago seems a very odd statement, I suggest it must go much further back.

Remember, after many successes with Jeremy Burgess, he fell out with Yamaha when Lorenzo turned up, made only worse when he started to beat him. He goes to Ducati, taking not only JB, but the crew he reckoned he needed and promptly fell flat on his face.

Going back to Yamaha and presumably having to accept a certain loss of face, with JB again, was going to solve all his problems. Not so, the game had moved on.

Look at this from the other end of the telescope, if Rossi's remarks about Jeremy's reaction are correct and there's no reason to doubt him, JB was shocked and disappointed as I imagine he believed he was not the problem and looked forward to doing battle in 2014.

So where is this master technician and tactician who with one mighty bound will spring Rossi to the front of the pack? Could be a career breaker for some poor bugger.

There's nothing sadder than a past champion carrying on for just one too many seasons. Muhammed Ali must surely be the the epitome of this phenomenon.

I just hope he does'nt do himself a serious injury trying to keep up with the generation of riders who are now constantly beating him.

Total votes: 163

If you think you can't win, you really can't win!
And why would you have some one in your team that doesn't believe in you.
I always admired JB, but when I was reading his declarations in the articles about Rossi not having it anymore, it really made me think. To trust your rider is a necessity.

And you really can't blame JB. Maybe many of us have lost faith in him, probably even some of his biggest fans, but not him, not Rossi. Ant that why I really think it's a matter of just two roads spliting. It's about Rossi still thinking he can win and JB losing faith. Sure JB's ego may have been hurt but I don't think they would have gotten anywhere if they continued together.

Total votes: 203

Changing crew chiefs isn't a crime. What bugs me the most is the manner in which our Hero conducted the deed. To publicly heave JB under the Yellow Bus was absolutely unnecessary.

Why not wait a few more days 'till the end of the season? Offer to buy the old man dinner and, over a glass of wine, explain how "I need to try something different." A week later, Jeremy himself can make a quiet press announcement that he's retiring. (This is one of those situations where a comfortable corporate lie is probably best for all involved.)

Oh no. That won't do!

Instead, Rossi's ego insisted that HE be the one to break the news to the howling press corps. To add significant insult, he does it mere hours after dropping the bomb on JB. This strikes me as disrespectful in the extreme.

Total votes: 195

Geonerd you (and others here to be fair) are guessing at what Rossi and JB were thinking and how the complete conversation went, and reasons why this was announced as it was. JB might not have wanted that for whatever reason, he's a tough and experienced campaigner and certainly not the type to be walked on.

Only those two know, and we will hear what they choose us to hear!

JB may well speak out next week, but my guess is that he is a grown-up and will take the view that he's had a good run and will retain his dignity!

Total votes: 195

Casey returns with JB on the production racer and takes the title.

Wishful thinking but sure would make some nice headlines.

Total votes: 175

No surprise to see plenty of

Submitted by Hugelean on Fri, 2013-11-08 09:38.
No surprise to see plenty of foo using the quiet retirement of one of the sports greats as a soapbox to sling muck at Rossi.

It wasn't a quiet retirement. Burgess found out Thursday he was getting canned by the rider he spent the last 13 years with, helped him achieve 80 wins and 7 world titles. Not sure where you are from, but around here that is referred to as tactless.

If the shoe fits wear it.

Total votes: 180

This, after all those years? I cannot think what’s got into Valentino’s head. It’s not the parting of ways, that’s fair do’s at the top level of any sport or business, but to present it as a sacking? That’s unforgivable. I’m only a spectator but it seemed to me that JB followed Rossi to Ducati against his better judgement, out of loyalty; and followed him back to Yamaha even though he must have been beginning to think that the game was up for VR. He tied his own fortunes to those of Valentino many years ago, and even if they haven’t seen eye to eye over the last year or two, he deserves a much better parting of ways than this.

I can only think of three possible reasons for Valentino presenting this as he has;

1. JB refused to allow it to be presented as anything but a sacking. Perhaps he feels VR’s decision is such a gross betrayal of years of loyalty that he wouldn’t even entertain it being presented as a decision to retire or whatever, bearing in mind he’s said for years that he would retire when Rossi hung up his leathers. But it’s hard to imagine that a man of JB’s maturity would refuse to take the dignified way out, which damages neither of them.

2. Or, it could be that Brand VR inc. are driven by such a desire for publicity, at whatever cost, that they figure any kind of media attention is better than none at all. The ‘lightweight media’ like the Beeb barely talk about Rossi any more and even on this forum he’s become less and less worthy of discussion. If so, I think this is the most awful mis-judgement in this case, and that the fall-out will far outweigh any possible gains.

3. Or Yamaha, and more specifically Lin Jarvis, compelled VR to present it this way. Thinking back to last year, Lin Jarvis made it abundantly clear that he neither needed nor wanted Rossi back at Yamaha and there was something cruel, brutal and deeply vindictive in the way he humiliated Rossi by ensuring the world and his wife knew that Valentino himself had had to accept that he was now a number two rider, one not even worthy of a premium salary, a beggar, not a chooser. Perhaps this is just further payback. Perhaps the payback extends to JB. This is surely a terrible slap in the face to JB by Yamaha, given the importance of ‘face’ to the Japanese, saying that no matter what he achieved for them in days gone by, he doesn’t even merit a dignified exit.

Whatever the reason, for me the decision by VR to present this as a sacking will overshadow all his achievements. JB deserves much better.

Total votes: 204

I actually think the truth is closest to number one.

If you add in the fact that JB was told literally hours before Valentino made the announcement - and that was a forced issue because somebody in the VR camp couldn't keep quiet (ref. the recent press conference held by Yamaha)..... was the only possible outcome. JB (rightly) was very unlikely to walk out and announce his retirement with no time to consider his options, and Valentino himself had his hand forced by the leak.

It is also clear from the press conference just held that JB knew nothing about this, and appears to feel betrayed, even if he is remaining very stoic throughout the fiasco. If JB is actually less than impressed with Rossi, it will not be lost on him that the majority of public reaction is likely to backlash against Rossi, and perhaps he was more than happy to "punish" Valentino by making him go out and do it publicly.

For somebody who has played the media and public relations game to perfection for nearly two decades, I can't think how Valentino could have screwed this up any more.

Total votes: 187

The nasty voice in my head picks Door #2 as the only plausible option. A pre-race press conference is about the least appropriate place to announce news like this, but Rossi's ego will not be denied. Poor form, Sir. Poor form indeed.

#1 makes no sense, and #3 seems only a little more likely. Jarvis may well be a ruthless operator, but he strikes me as too smart to make such a public spectacle. If, for whatever reason, he truly wanted to stitch up Rossi, there must be hundreds of subtle, equally effective ways to do it.

Total votes: 173

+1 I like to see Rossi do a farewell tour in 2014, while he's still (sort of) competitive. He should have done it this year, but next year for sure. Problem is he needs to find something else to do - probably a challenge right up there with winning races. One of the toughest things for top sportsmen to do is get out at the top of their game. Far too many have hung around well past their sell-by date, putting a cloud around their career. I hope Rossi will get out sooner rather than later, when he might still be missed rather than laughed at.

Total votes: 174

The disdain for Rossi on this site is commonplace and unsurprising.

But if it was any other rider making a tough decision like this, that rider would be considered "hungry, motivated and still having the desire".....or not mentioned much at all.

It's clear that Burgess has a lot on his plate therefore he couldn't fully commit long term. Nothing wrong with that, totally understandable from Jerry's standpoint.

But sometimes, the decision has to be made for you, because you won't ever make it yourself.

As an employer, I know what it's like to make tough decisions and part ways with great people with excellent history. But when the time comes, as difficult as it is, the decision has to be made.

Accusing Rossi of being disloyal, unappreciative and egotistical is just funny. Wasn't it Rossi who demanded that Burgess be allowed to come with him to Yamaha (from Honda), then to Ducati (from Yamaha) and finally to Yamaha again? Dis-loyal? Sounds like anyting but.

In a world where the pressure and money spent exceeds your wildest dreams, another rider might have pulled the trigger a long time ago.....

Total votes: 178

Suggesting Rossi isn't egotistical. Really, vlad, so he's really a humble guy, is that what you're saying. Massive LOL after reading that.

Vale has polarised people often during his career, and he's always stood up and dealt with it. He's a mentally tough character, he doesn't need you to act as his apologist.

Total votes: 182

I'm not suggesting Rossi isn't egotistical nor am I apologizing for him. With what he's accomplished and done for the sport, ego is a given and he definately will not/should not apologize for anything.

What I am saying is that I don't believe this move in particular was so much ego driven, but more out of necessity. Even as difficult as it was.

But your "Massive LOL" must be an internet first...I'm glad I contributed.

Total votes: 187

Submitted by Vlad Drac on Fri, 2013-11-08 19:38.

The disdain for Rossi on this site is commonplace and unsurprising.

But if it was any other rider making a tough decision like this, that rider would be considered "hungry, motivated and still having the desire".....or not mentioned much at all.

Not even close.

You seem to be missing the point. The point is not the fact that he canned JB, it's the manner in which he did it in.

Total votes: 186

So tell us missed apex, what's the best way to fire someone?

I've done many, many firings. And asking someone's permission prior probably won't go as well as you might think.

Short and swift is always best, especially when there's a fondness of the person. It's a business bro. JB will be fine and probably happier anyway. BTW, Rossi's has contributed greatly to JB's bank account. Let's not be so touchy feely and sensitive.

Total votes: 188

oh dear, so many experts deciding the way it is and why.
Do you not think that Rossi and JB have talked about this ?JB probably said go for it I don't care and infact would love to stay home in Aust in Retirement for 2014 ?
They are mates,friends,like father and son. Lets just accept it and see what happens. Our opinions are just that, opinions,just like this one.

Total votes: 185

You 'know' they are mates, friends, like father and son?

Total votes: 194

Funny to read a lot of these comments. Many from who have been bagging on Rossi for years, on this site.

JB wanted to retire next year, Rossi wants to continue. Sounds like VR thought it better to make the transition now, rather than wait.

Public sacking? Rossi talked to and told JB before the press conference, before anyone here knew anything. That's not a public sacking. A public sacking is JB not knowing anything until that press conference.

Whether we like it or not, sports, whether GP's, Rugby, or Soccer, is a business. Regardless of what the internet pundits think, VR has earned the right to make these choices. If anything, the haters should rejoice, as this could very much hurt VR and his future chances of anything. If he is willing to gamble that, and believe in himself, it's his choice to make. If I want to smash up my own house, bust the walls apart, etc, that's my business. Same applies here. JB has been very well paid and VR has always been loyal to his entire crew. He used to give away BMW's to his team for winning the qualifying award. So they could sell it and collect the proceeds. He's made a point to take them all, JB included wherever he goes and makes sure they are very well paid.

JB has been talking retirement the last few years and the short version is his retiring and VR's aren't matching up so it's time for a change. I'd bet, like others, that they will remain friends.

I do get tired of let's twist anything we can against Vale because he's Vale, or because of the Stoner rivalry, or whatever else. This entire subject is about VR and JB yet we see Stoner this and that again in this thread. Pretty funny if you think about it. Get over it.

Total votes: 203

...but two things I think you've missed:

1. It was public. It was in the Italian press before Rossi had spoken to Burgess. I read the rumours on Twitter 24hours before they had their discussion. VR had shared it with "his people", whoever they are, and somebody had leaked it, allegedly in his hometown. Jerry himself said that when Valentino asked to see him in his motorhome that he knew he wasn't getting his Christmas bonus.

2. The majority of the comments on here are not relating to Valentino's decision. Most, myself included, fully respect his position to appoint whoever he likes. What people object to is the way in which it has been handled, and the apparent disrespect shown to a friend and supporter of many years.

Personally, I never warmed that much to JB, but in these events he has shown his maturity and acted with total dignity and grace. He has been a model for Valentino to learn from.

Perhaps the last lesson from a great chief.

Total votes: 171

It is a sad day for for motorcycling to see the end of two greats working together, each so good in their own right and together a formidable team.

Nothing can stay constant, we should wish them both well in future endeavours. This is nothing more than the passing of time. The memories of their epic achievements have added hugely to the Legends of our most favourite of sports.

I don't think we have seen the last of Jeremy either, I look forward to the next exciting chapter of life for both of them, I salute them and wish them both well.

Total votes: 158

Vale, has had body problems, since the last accident, the last year with Yamaha, before going to Ducati.
Most bodies suffer after bone healing etc, the muscles, nerves , vains, etc are mostly in a mess, some can be so intertwine'd, that means the blood is not flowing normally around the healed area, lack of blood, oxygen and Nutrients, not just to that area, but also to the rest of the body..and brain..

He needs his body TUNED and REALIGNED , i have been fortunate enough to
meet, someone that has discovered how to do this..and it works..He is now a threat to the medical establishment..

Just this year a German girl in her 20's came to Australia for a break, for a bout 1
year, she was a regular at a pizza restaurant for a couple of months, she got to know the owner , and she told him she was born with a hip out of place,to one side, and the medical establishment in Europe, wanted to cut her up, to fix the problem.. she
was negative about that.. he told her to contact my friend, to see if he could do something...
Well, during the last 3 months of her stay, she did visit my friend, i will call him " the body mechanic" he conducted his phorapathy, about 3 x times a week, 2 hours a day , sending posture photos taken during this time, back to her parents,
at end they where blown away... she now walks normal...and by the way, her father is one of the top electronic engineers (ECU) for Audi in Germany..

I have so many more stories to tell, i would be here all year..
SO VALE, needs a BODY MECHANIC, not a new bike mechanic!!

My friend was taught marshal arts as a kid , by his ex commando Father, he taught him how to disable the human body very quickly, as he got older , he took up alternative practise's, reversing what he had been taught by his father , to enable the human body, then studying , Roman Phorapathy, Acupuncture , Kinesiology etc, and incorporating it into one message, well i call it a BODY REALIGNMENT, because that what it does..
He has been given a special gift, that our ancestors all had.. i haven't to this day heard of anyone anywhere that does what he does..

Me and my friend have been studying Vale, after that accident very closely..
So, Valentino, please look into this direction, if Karma allows , this could be the answer for you.. i am 100% sure now!!

Yours Sincerley
Rick Kaye

PS: Everyone benefits from this, but the medical industry wants to kill it..

Total votes: 186

Valentino has always been a class act, until his spineless public announcement that he is ending his relationship with Jeremy Burgess.

To do this now, literally days before the final Motogp race of the season, is really unforgiveable. What's worse is the way it's been done! Throwing Jeremy under the bus for his own failings as a competitor is so pathetic, and even mean!

Vale has barely been able to stay ahead of the satellite teams, let alone be close to the Aliens. I had huge respect for this man, until now.

Watching Rossi twitch and bob during the press conference with Burgess was like watching a spoiled child. I was half-hoping Burgess would reach over and backhand him, then get up and walk away from this priveleged little shit.

Best to you, Jeremy Burgess. I hope you can find some comfort in having done a fine job with Mick and Vale, getting world championships out of both of them over many years!

You deserved a much more dignified end to your career!!

Tim Augustinowicz

Total votes: 170

Been a long time lurker on this website; just could not stop myself from creating a login in light of this development. Never been much of a Rossi fan, but deep down inside I feel as if someone slapped me.

You know what we fans really use, an update to Rossi's biography. We really need to get an inside view of his 2 years with Ducati and 4 years of not winning a championship.

Also, would really like to see what Mark Neale comes up with after his two MotoGP related movies, Faster and Fastest; both of which have, the way I see it, are movies that glorify Rossi.

Total votes: 166

For those that think Rossi is blaming JB, I just don't see it

He openly questioned whether he still had the speed before the season even started. This was supposed to be a year in which he judged himself. To me that is quite rare for a Champion athlete and I admire his ability to be honest with himself

JB is awesome and I don't see anywhere that Rossi blames him. It's simply a matter of changing an important variable to see what happens. He senses he can't win with the current situation, so he wants to experiment in the hopes of finding the key to winning again

One thing that I think could of been handled differently is the type of announcement. Assuming JB won't be back in MotoGP, they could have agreed to announce it as JB retiring and nobody would have been upset in the least. Both parties could have maintained their dignity

The way they presented the news has opened them up to a lot of flack

Thanks JB for all you've given to the sport over the years~!

Total votes: 166


Total votes: 166