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By Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

VR46 Master Camp students graduate with flying colours

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp came to an end with the fifth and final day of this amazing journey.

Tags MotoGP, 2016

The five Master Camp riders thoroughly enjoyed a day at the Jeepers Kart & Pit Bike circuit accompanied by today’s instructor, Moto3™ rider Francesco Bagnaia, before visiting the VR46 headquarters in Tavullia for a tour and their Yamaha VR46 Master Camp graduation ceremony.

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp students Peerapong Loiboonpeng (Thailand), Galang Hendra Pratama (Indonesia), Soichiro Minamimoto (Japan), Kasma Daniel Bin Kasmayudin (Malaysia) and Imanuel Putra Pratna (Indonesia) started the day with mixed feelings; they were very excited to get a chance to learn from VR46 Riders Academy’s Francesco Bagnaia at the Jeepers Kart & Pit Bike circuit on minibikes, but they couldn’t escape the realisation that today would be the last day of their fantastic experience.

Once they arrived at the track they quickly changed into their leathers and hopped on their minibikes. The first session was a timed practice session, which was followed by qualifying and two races amongst just the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp. At first the young talents were a little starstruck to have the last Moto3™ race winner teach them, but they soon overcame their inhibitions and dropped consistently fast lap times.

The first minibike race, which saw a close battle for the lead, was ultimately won by Galang Hendra Pratama. In the second race Kasma Daniel Bin Kasmayudin raised the pace to another level and rode confidently to his first Yamaha VR46 Master Camp victory.

After spending almost three hours riding under the blazing Italian sun, it was time for the riders to regain some energy. They changed out of their drenched riding gear, due to the sparkling water replacing the victory champagne, and made their way to VR46’s headquarters for a three-course lunch.

After they finished their “gelato” (ice cream), the riders were given a tour around the building by VR46 Managing Director Gianluca Falcioni, who showed them the various merchandise VR46 produce, which also includes products for other well-known riders besides Valentino Rossi and the VR46 Academy riders, such as MotoGP™'s Dani Pedrosa, Scott Redding, Cal Crutchlow, Jack Miller and MXGP’s Antonio Cairoli. Besides clothes, the VR46 Riders Academy bikes are also stored downstairs. The tour ended in Valentino Rossi’s spacious office upstairs, where the riders got to view a summary video of the last five special days on the flat screen television. Yamaha Motor Racing’s Managing Director Lin Jarvis remarked how the Master Camp came full circle: the project was created on the conference table in that office.

It was then time for the ‘graduation’ ceremony, where the five riders were handed their official Yamaha VR46 Master Camp certificate of accomplishment and some extra gifts from VR46, which included the newly released MotoGP™ game in which players can simulate Valentino Rossi’s racing career. Franco Morbidelli also quickly dropped in to congratulate the graduates and Bagnaia brought extra farewell gifts.

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp team want to sincerely thank Yamaha, its partners, Valentino Rossi, VR46, the VR46 Riders Academy and its riders for their contribution to this project, which has given the five Master Camp riders the foundation needed to further progress their careers to a world championship level.

Valentino Rossi: “I'm really happy with how the first Yamaha VR46 Master Camp went. The guys were really excited today. Understandably they are tired because of the intense training, but they are happy. They had fun during these five days but above all I hope they will bring home some things they learned from the VR46 Riders Academy, not only the knowledge and skills but also the mentality. The Master Camp riders were very good and also very quick to learn so much in just a few days. It was a great experience also for the Academy riders and all those who were involved in the organisation, the Master Camp has been a success.”

Peerapong Loiboonpeng (Thailand): “I am delighted to have had this opportunity. I never thought I would get here and meet Valentino Rossi. When I knew I was coming here, I did my best to be ready for this event and over the last five days I tried to memorise everything they taught me. I want to thank Yamaha, without their support I would never have come this far. I also want to say thank you to the VR46 Academy riders, they have welcomed us with open arms and taught us well.”

Galang Hendra Pratama (Indonesia): “This week was beautiful. Today we trained again with minibikes and it was a lot of fun. I’m honoured to have been given this opportunity. I was able to train with world-class riders, such as Valentino Rossi, the VR46 Academy riders and also our flat track trainer Marco Belli. I hope that these experiences can be repeated. I want to thank Yamaha for making it possible for us to have such a wonderful experience that we will be remembered forever.”

Kasma Daniel Bin Kasmayudin (Malaysia): “I am very happy after this experience, I liked every item on the programme a lot. Being here was really nice. Today we have trained with minibikes and then we said goodbye to the VR46 team at Valentino Rossi’s headquarters. I gave the maximum over the last five days to learn as much as possible and will always cherish these unforgettable moments. A big thank you to Yamaha, our instructors and the entire VR46 staff for organising such an amazing programme.”

Soichiro Minamimoto (Japan): “Today was a beautiful day again. After these five days I realise more than ever how high the level of motorcycle racing on a world championship level is, because I was able to ride with the riders of VR46 Academy. It was a great experience and I want to thank Yamaha and VR46 for their time to teach us so many skills.”