Valentino Rossi admitted the decision to drop his career long MotoGP crew chief Jerry Burgess in favour of Silvano Galbusera had been a 'dangerous bet'.

But after charging from tenth on the grid to duel with reigning champion Marc Marquez for victory in Sunday's Qatar season opener, the Italian indicated that the shock decision is paying off.

"Last year I did a very dangerous bet, because Galbusera doesn't have any experience with MotoGP," said Rossi, who sought changes after struggling to match the MotoGP top three of Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa last season.

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"But I knew him from a test on a Superbike when I was recovering from a broken leg [in 2010]. I felt very good with him, but it was still a bet.

"I'm so happy because he works very well and I think this year I can be stronger because we can work more and especially try to improve the setting for the race."

Rossi finished just 0.259s behind Marquez after swapping places with the Repsol Honda rider throughout the Qatar Grand Prix.

While the Italian also finished (a distant) second at Qatar last season, a series of strong winter testing performances and now the victory battle have fueled Rossi's confidence of remaining competitive in 2014, the last year of the 35-year-old's present Yamaha contract.

Burgess had been crew chief to fellow Australians Mick Doohan (five titles) and Wayne Gardner (one title) before helping Rossi to his seven championships, the most recent of which was in 2009.

Rossi has not changed any of his mechanics, many of whom - like Burgess - moved with the #46 from Honda to Yamaha in 2004, then again during the ill-fated Ducati switch in 2011.