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Yamaha has announced its new rider selection for the fourth Yamaha VR46 Master Camp today in a special press conference, ahead of the WorldSBK Pirelli Riviera di Rimini Round, attended by Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.’s Marketing Division Manager Paolo Pavesio and VR46 Riders Academy Director Alessio ’Uccio‘ Salucci.
The six selected young talents, who already represent Yamaha Motor Europe as part of its bLU cRU project, had their first glimpse of the VR46 Motor Ranch yesterday as they prepare for next month’s fun but gruelling week of training in and around Tavullia, Valentino Rossi’s home base, with the VR46 Riders Academy.
The new Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders include The Netherlands’ Robert Schotman (18), France’s Enzo De La Vega (17), Finland’s Kimi Patova (15), Ukraine’s Mykyta Kalinin (18), Italy’s Alfonso Coppola (19), and Brazil’s Renzo Ferreira (15).
They are the same riders participating in Yamaha Motor Europe’s Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge, a competition designed to support young riders racing in the 2017 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship (WorldSSP300) and give them a chance to get a Yamaha supported ride in a higher road-racing class for the 2018 season.
The R3 bLU cRU Challenge takes part inside WorldSSP300, the new entry-level class for the four-tier FIM Superbike World Championship structure, and maintains its own standings over the nine-round competition. The six YZF-R3 riders benefit from the official Yamaha bLU cRU support package over the 2017 season. This weekend they will challenge in the fifth round of WorldSSP300 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” and in July they will return to the Adriatic coast to take their racing education one step further by attending the fourth Master Camp.
“Being responsible for the main production bike championships, WorldSBK and MXGP, Yamaha Motor Europe is working hard not just to support our riders competing in the top classes, but also to offer to the younger talents the possibility of growth with a path from national competition up to the door of professional motorcycle racing”, stated Pavesio.
“Under this perspective, the newly created WorldSSP300 Championship represents a perfect platform to give future talent the opportunity to make the jump to international racing. For this reason we have created, under the bLU cRU umbrella, a project to support a group of up-and-coming riders in the move to this championship… and eventually further.
“Having the opportunity to also offer them the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp experience is like a dream, not just for our six riders, but for the whole bLU cRU programme in general, and we are looking forward to see the riders’ performances as soon they return from the VR46 Motor Ranch in July.”
To improve the bLU cRU participants riding skills, they will have a chance to learn from Valentino Rossi, the VR46 Riders Academy and its riders, three-time English Flat Track Champion and two-time American and European Flat Track Champion Marco Belli, fitness trainer Carlo Casabianca, and many more racing experts from July 24th - 28th, 2017.
Similar to the previous edition, the VR46 Riders Academy will be taking the Master Camp students to the gym at Rossi’s Motor Ranch, the Misano World Circuit 'Marco Simoncelli', the Misanino KCE World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” and the Fisio gym.
The training is entirely designed to boost the Master Camp protegees' riding skills, bike control and choice of race line (on-road aboard YZF-R3s, MiniGP bikes and in go-karts, off-road on YZ250Fs bikes), as well as technical know-how and motivation to give them the edge over the remaining four rounds of the WorldSSP300 season.
“Introducing a new group of Master Camp riders is always exciting, so I’m very happy I get to attend the official announcement here today!”, enthused Salucci.
“VR46 is very dedicated to the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp programme and the talents whose riding skills we get to help develop. During the fourth edition our racing experts will get to train this new group of young, talented bLU cRU riders. This fourth Master Camp class obviously already has experience with racing on an international level within Europe, so we know they will be fast and will have quite a high level to begin with.
“Nevertheless, the five-day training programme in July will be a nice opportunity for them to pick up a lot of skills at the Motor Ranch and various other locations, that can help them throughout the remainder of the WorldSSP300 season and the rest of their racing careers.
“I’m sure they can’t wait to meet Valentino, the VR46 Academy riders and the other instructors, and the VR46 staff is looking forward to it too, because the Master Camp training week is always a lot of fun.”
Valentino Rossi: "The fourth Master Camp is about to start, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome the new riders to Tavullia. When I met with the last group I wanted to make sure that they felt they were learning skills and technical practices that they could immediately apply in their respective championships. To see these bLU cRU guys pick up the new information so well, and getting good results because of it, is a great pleasure and a real reward for Yamaha and VR46, who organise and manage the whole Master Camp project. Helping young talent develop their international racing career has been a passion of mine for a long time. To see that grow from the VR46 Riders Academy to international riders attending the Master Camp is something very special. The upcoming Master Camp will again demand some sweat from the riders, but I’m sure they will also able to really enjoy riding at the Motor Ranch and the other circuits."
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing: "The third Yamaha VR46 Master Camp project saw some tremendous results, so the Master Camp Team is eager to help the next group of young Yamaha talent, who are motivated to prove themselves to Valentino Rossi and the VR46 Riders Academy. The new Master Camp protégées are mainly from Europe, except for one Brazilian rider. They all have experience with riding on an international level, thanks to their participation in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge inside the 2017 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship (WorldSSP300). Given their current level, we can look forward to stepping it up a notch during the upcoming a five-day training programme. We saw that the previous students manifested the knowledge and skills they gained at the Master Camp by harvesting great results and even race wins. Their achievements show what can be accomplished by following a strict training regime, designed and carried out by racing professionals. I would like to thank Valentino and the VR46 Riders Academy again for organising this training programme with so much enthusiasm and care. I'm certain the fourth edition will again be a great source of knowledge and support for the new bLU cRU youngsters, helping them advance in their racing careers."