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Jeremy Burgess follows Rossi to Yamaha

Jeremy Burgess follows Rossi to Yamaha

Jeremy Burgess follows Rossi to Yamaha

Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio has confirmed that revered chief mechanic Jeremy Burgess will join Valentino Rossi in making the switch to the factory Yamaha team after two decades of Grand Prix racing with Honda. Burgess has been with HRC since 1983 and has won nine World Championships – one with Wayne Gardner, five with Mick Doohan and three with Rossi – making him easily the most experienced crew chief in the paddock. Three more of Rossi's mechanics from Repsol Honda will also make the switch.

"Jeremy Burgess will come to Yamaha as Valentino's crew chief, accompanied by Alex Briggs, Bernard Ansiau, and Gary Coleman, three of his existing mechanics," confirmed Brivio on Monday. "They will work with Brent Stephens, one of our own mechanics, and Matteo Flamigni our data acquisition technician. It was a mutual decision between Valentino and Yamaha - in order to create the best possible working environment for Valentino when he comes to Yamaha, we have made some adjustments to the existing team.

"Valentino has an excellent working relationship with some of his present crew, and in order for him to feel as comfortable as possible and to integrate him as smoothly as possible into the all-new Yamaha set-up we have built a team around him that includes some of his 2003 staff. The final support crew will be a mix of existing Yamaha technical staff with some members of Valentino's 2003 crew.

Brivio added that the team's goal for their first season together was to build the basis of a title challenge in 2005. "Of course when you start any new season the dream is to be able to challenge to win the championship but I think that 2004 will be a year for Valentino to establish a good working relationship, to clarify where we need to go with the M1 development, and hopefully in that process we will be able to challenge for individual race wins and to prepare the base for the future. Our 2005 target is certainly to go for the World Championship with Valentino. Carlos (Checa) is of course more used to the M1 and can be at his maximum from the beginning of the season."

The Italian also admitted that whilst the signature of Rossi was a major coup for Yamaha, it could also prove to be a gamble if the results don't arrive. "It is true that in some senses we are taking a risk," he said. "With Valentino riding our bike we can make no excuses if we are off the pace. However, we are ready to accept that challenge and we have every confidence that we can deliver a good package next year."

Whilst Checa will test at Malaysia at the end of the month, the new team will not come together until the 20th January in Malaysia, when Rossi will complete his first laps on board the M1.

MotoGP, 2003, Valentino Rossi

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