The eighth edition Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders officially kicked off the programme yesterday. The first day of training was even better than the students had hoped for, with fitness trainer Carlo Casabianca, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team‘s Franco Morbidelli, fellow VR46 Academy rider Andrea Migno, and multiple-time flat track champion Marco Belli helping them get up to speed.
Yamaha Motor Thailand‘s Sawapol Nillapong (16) and Suttipat Patchareetorn (18), Yamaha Motor Malaysia‘s Muhammad Alif Ashraf Bin Tahiruddin (16), Yamaha Motor Philippines‘ McKinley Kyle Paz (18), and Yamaha Motor Canada‘s Jake LeClair (18) started early because they had a busy schedule ahead of them: visiting the Fisio Gym, then straight to the Official Rossi Fan Club, the VR46 Store, and the VR46 Motor Ranch.
The Master Camp riders were happy to find none other than MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli and Moto3 rider Andrea Migno waiting for them at the Fisio Gym in the morning, ready to help them get a proper work out worthy of professional athletes, including stretching, spinning, trying the race simulator, and Pilates.
Afterwards Morbidelli commented:
“In the morning the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders and I did some stretching, which is what we usually do at the VR46 Riders Academy. It‘s important to do this, so you feel better with your body. Being supple is always important.
“Later we did a race simulator session, which is something we do to train our bodies to adapt to the motorcycle riding position and get used to the motion. It helps you get a feeling for the movements you will make later on track, because usually we put in the track that we will visit next in real life. So, this exercise is also an occasion to test your memory and get familiar again with the track.
“At the end, we did some Pilates, which is again something that will make your body more flexible. It‘s important to keep this up, because it helps prevent injuries.”
Before heading to their first riding session of the day, the riders had to ’refuel‘. A nice meal at the Bar, Ristorante e Pizzeria da Rossi in Tavullia was just the ticket, and they made the most of their time spent in Valentino Rossi‘s home town. The riders took the opportunity to visit the Official Fan Club Valentino Rossi Tavullia - where they were handed many presents by Vice President, Flavio Fratesi - and did some shopping at the VR46 Store.
With their bellies full and well stocked up on merchandise, the young riders arrived at the VR46 Motor Ranch, where three-time English Flat Track Champion and two-time American and European Flat Track Champion Marco Belli was waiting for them. He told them all they needed to know about the correct riding position and bike control before the riders started their very first flat track session aboard their YZ250F bikes.
“The main thing on the first day was to keep everybody safe and teach them how to use their bike properly”, explained Belli. “They see the VR46 Motor Ranch for the first time, so we know this brings a lot of emotion and excitement. It‘s their first time riding this kind of track and it‘s their first time at ’Valentino‘s house‘, but we are prepared for this. Our programme has been perfected over the last few editions of the Master Camp, so we know how to work with young riders who are in this kind of state.
“The first day is always used to teach the guys about the correct body position and how to control the throttle. We got some very good feedback from them. There were no crashes, nobody got hurt, we saw a lot of speed, and - most importantly - they listened to the advice they‘ve been given and put it into practice, which makes all the difference. They all have a good starting level. Therefore, starting from the next flat track training session, we will be riding on the oval and the full track – so we‘re really happy!”
You can watch the Day 1 review video HERE.