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GP Week : Issue 195
at BrIEFly » Spain may still be in the throes of an economic downturn but MotoGP is thriving, thanks to a clean sweep of the championships. With two out of three championships undecided, but with only Spanish riders in the running, numbers were up by 60 percent at almost 105,000, and no tickets available on the day. » Among all Marquez’s new records this year, Lorenzo set an unenviable one of his own ... he is the first rider in history to win eight races, and not also win the championship. Other records of the year came in MotoGP and Moto3; where for the first time in history of each class three riders all had more than 300 points. » After one year in control, Dorna has announced further changes to help align World Superbikes as a junior companion series to MotoGP. As well as introducing the new “Evo” class of lower- grade machines expected to become standard in future, and other restrictive rules on engine numbers, the latest diktat brings to an end the production-based series’ unique “Superpole” qualifying system, with riders on lone laps. From next year, Superbikes will follow the short-session qualifying system introduced to MotoGP this year. BURGESS DUMPED, ROSSI DESPERATE Flailing champion seeks relief with new crew chief MOTOGP >>> nEWs Valentino Rossi grabbed the headlines and left the paddock reeling at Valencia, with the shock dismissal of noted crew chief Jeremy Burgess, the Australian architect of his 81 race wins and seven world titles in the premier class. Together for 14 years, the pair had seemed inseparable, with the mainly Antipodean pit crew also part of the equation that saw serial success in both Honda and Yamaha factory teams, followed by disappointment with Ducati. They followed him back to Yamaha, where he has since remained stuck in a firm fourth place overall, unable to match the pace of the Spanish Armada. The struggle to adapt the Yamaha to the rider had made progress over the year, but aside from a one-off win at Assen, it was not enough. “We have a great history, not just as a mechanic but as part of the family. It was a very difficult decision,” said Rossi, after he’d been confronted following a leak of the news to the Italian media. “I decided that next year I need to change something and find new motivation,” he said. He had not yet decided on a replacement, he said; but post-race tests gave the lie to that when fellow-Italian Silvano Galbusera was ready and waiting to take over. Burgess admitted he had been “blind-sided” by the news, having intended to continue into next year, but he respected it as a “business decision” , saying “the main thing is to move Valentino for ward, and if it has that effect it’s a good decision.” At a strained joint press conference on Friday Burgess continued: “I’ve read many sporting biographers where people coming to the end of their careers change their trainer or their caddy.” Asked later in how many cases this had worked, he was clear-cut. “None.” Burgess has been a factory mechanic since the 1980s, and was crew chief to Wayne Gardner when he won the 500cc title in 1987, and to Mick Doohan when he took five more from 1994 to 1998. He and his crew joined forces with Rossi when he moved to the premier class in 2000. Replacement Galbusera has worked in World Superbikes, including with Rossi in 2010, when he tested a Yamaha superbike to assess his recovery from breaking his leg. For more, see Michael Scott’s comment later in this Cutchlow: Ducati debutant 15 GPWEEK.com // 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: