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Burgess ‘blindsided’ by Rossi split

Burgess ‘blindsided’ by Rossi split

Jeremy Burgess has spoken publically for the first time since Valentino Rossi announced on Thursday that he and his Crew Chief will be ending their long-time partnership following this weekend’s Grand Prix of Valencia.

Burgess has guided Rossi to 80 race wins and seven world titles in the premier class, with the Italian having stepped up to the 500 tier in 2000.

“It was more my decision,” Rossi confirmed. “Yesterday we spoke together. I tried to explain that I need to change and I need something different. Like Jerry said, a new boost – some more motivation, and we decided to do it like this.”

Burgess immediately admitted to having been stunned by the announcement, which came from Rossi in Thursday’s press-event press conference. However, he denied speculation that quotes from himself in the media could have prompted the separation.

“Look…clearly it blindsided me,” Burgess began. “I was not expecting it whatsoever. I knew yesterday afternoon when Valentino invited me into his trailer that we weren’t going in there for the Christmas bonus.

“For me perhaps the words of ‘Won’t win again’…clearly I said ‘We won’t win again until we start winning races and getting on the podium.’ That was the entirety of that statement and I don’t believe I would be paying for that.

“I haven’t made any plans for the future at this stage. My intention originally, obviously, was continue next year dependent on results and desire. Our contracts are year by year, so we are at that liberty to make a call. We have been chasing rainbows for four years; we haven’t nailed anything decent in those four years, so these are long periods in racing and it becomes more and more difficult.”

Summing up the situation, Burgess added:

“We have always worked on fixing the problems and have done that for four years. This is part of that fix – this is the next step to try and get Valentino back on top, extend his career and be competitive.”

During their partnership, the Rossi-Burgess duo have moved together from Honda to Ducati via their most successful period at Yamaha, to which they returned for 2013.


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