The 5 riders of the eighth edition Yamaha VR46 Master Camp held in September 2019 had a very exciting Day 4, taking on the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Yamaha YZF-R3s in the morning, followed by a gym session before the main event: meeting up with Valentino Rossi and the VR46 Riders Academy at the VR46 Motor Ranch.
The eighth edition Yamaha VR46 Master Camp students raised their level yet again, taking on the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in the morning and working up a sweat at the Fisio Gym in the afternoon. However, it was the evening event that will stay with the riders the longest. They received a special invitation to sit in on Valentino Rossi and the VR46 Academy riders’ training at the VR46 Motor Ranch as they prepared for the Misano GP.
McKinley Kyle Paz
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) hopped on the bus even more eager than usual in the morning, because there were Pirelli-fitted YZF-R3s waiting for them in Misano.
VR46 Academy and Moto2 rider Luca Marini had prepared circuit maps and a quick riders’ briefing to get the students started. Due to MotoGP regulations, he was not allowed to ride with them as he will be attending the Misano GP, also held at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, within 15 days’ time. But this didn’t keep him from standing on the sideline, ready to observe and give tips, whilst CIV rider Lorenzo Bartalesi took over his instructor position on track, riding with the Master Camp students.
After the past intense days of riding, the students – joined by Marini and also Moto2 rider Marco Bezzecchi – headed to the Fisio Gym to make sure their bodies were still in top form. Little did the students know that there was a surprise in store for them afterwards.
The riders were brought to the VR46 Motor Ranch in the evening for a special main event: to see Rossi and the VR46 Academy riders in action.
The students did not only get to watch their hero – taking a close look at his superb flat track riding style – but Rossi also made time to say hello to them and posed for photos.
Students Graduate From Eighth Yamaha VR46 Master Camp
The 8th edition students ended their Yamaha VR46 Master Camp experience with a final flat track session at the VR46 Motor Ranch and a tour of the VR46 headquarters in Tavullia, followed by the traditional graduation ceremony.
The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders did their various coaches from the last five days proud, graduating from the eighth edition of the programme with flying colors, both at the VR46 Motor Ranch and at the VR46 Headquarters.
Fittingly, they headed back to the place where it all began, the VR46 Motor Ranch, where they could show flat track instructor Marco Belli just how much they had improved. Moto2 rider Marco Bezzecchi was present as co-coach.
Knowing they would have to say goodbye to their YZ250F bikes soon, the riders went all out one last time. They decided it was best to part with the VR46 Motor Ranch having a last race, which was won by LeClair.
The students were also given a tour of the VR46 building that houses both the company’s commercial outlet, including a huge storage room, as well as the race department that oversees all VR46 Academy riders. The tour ended in Valentino Rossi’s office, the place where VR46 and Yamaha first discussed the Master Camp programme in 2013, for the traditional graduation ceremony.
The festivities were led by VR46 Riders Academy Director Alessio ‘Uccio’ Salucci and Yamaha Motor Racing’s Marketing & Communications Manager William Favero. The riders viewed a summary video of the last five special days, before being handed their official Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Certificate of Attendance and the medals earned in Day 4’s Misano Superpole (won by Tahiruddin) and Day 5’s Flat Track activity. Of course, the Master Camp wouldn’t part from the riders without presenting them with some extra gifts from VR46.
The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp team want to sincerely thank Yamaha, Valentino Rossi, VR46, the VR46 Riders Academy riders and instructors, and the programme’s partners Saucony, Descente, Oakley, Alpinestars, Pirelli, Yamaha Italy’s Marine Division, Joe Amarena Sunset Beach, and Capitaneria di Porto di Pesaro, for their contribution to this project, which gave the five Master Camp students the opportunity to take the next step in their racing endeavors.
This was published in InsideRACING Magazine’s Volume 17 Number 8 issue
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