Master Camp Riders Get Acquainted with Autodromo Modena on Day 2

2019-05-25 09:56
The five Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders met the seventh edition‘s second-day challenges head-on. They returned to the VR46 Motor Ranch in the morning and had a match-off against Andrea Migno and Niccolò Antonelli at the Autodromo di Modena on brand new Yamaha YZF-R3s in the afternoon.

With the first day's teachings fresh in their minds, the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp students took another step yesterday, focusing on the saying: “consistency is key”. The Netherlands‘ Finn de Bruin (18), Italy‘s Kevin Sabatucci (20) and Jacopo Facco (19), France‘s Andy Verdoïa (16), and Spain‘s Beatriz Neila (17) returned to the VR46 Motor Ranch in the morning and ventured out on new territory in the afternoon, tackling the Autodromo di Modena.

The youngsters left the hotel early after breakfast to meet up with three-time English Flat Track Champion and two-time American and European Flat Track Champion Marco Belli, who came to help them take another step in flat track riding.

“We didn‘t have much time on the track, but we condensed all the work, so we had a really tough schedule”, shared flat track expert Belli. “We started immediately with building speed on the little oval, which is where we finished off on Day 1, and then we moved on to the bigger oval.

“The key points were that they kept applying the skills they learned yesterday at a higher speed, which is not easy, because the breaking points and lines were different, and also the bike's reaction changes. But the progress was good, so we look forward to riding on the full track on Day 3. That will be a good exercise for the riders, because it has a challenging and tricky lay-out. They need to keep in mind what we‘ve taught them, and also, ironically, that higher speed isn‘t always the answer to setting a fast lap time and getting a good result.”

Though they have fallen in love with the VR46 Motor Ranch, there was very little time for the riders to hang around after the session. They quickly hopped on the bus to head to the Autodromo di Modena for a full-on road racing session on Pirelli-fitted YZF-R3s, with Niccolò Antonelli and Andrea Migno.

The two VR46 Academy riders didn‘t only help them get familiar with the circuit, they were also standing on the side-line ready to observe and give tips. At the end of the day the young riders decided they were ready for some healthy competition and took turns setting a hot lap in a Superpole session. The results were close, but it was Verdoïe who set the fastest time, ahead of Sabatucci and Neila in second and third place respectively.

“Today was a nice day with all the Master Camp riders”, said Antonelli after the training. “They seemed to enjoy the Modena track a lot. It was their first time coming here, and the same goes for us. It‘s nice to get to know a track and we left the circuit feeling really happy about today.”

“It was another great day with the Master Camp and the entire organisation, because we got the opportunity to try this new track. That was also fun for us and good training”, added Migno. “I saw that the guys enjoyed the experience a lot and it was a hard-fought battle for Superpole. The difference between their lap times was very small, they are all very close. I enjoyed teaching them to ride this new track, I hope they enjoyed it too and that they learned something and noticed an improvement. In any case, I was happy to be at the track with them and help them, and I will see everyone again at the next Master Camp.”

To relive the action of Day 2 in Tavullia and Modena, watch the ’Day 2 Review‘ video, as well as ’A Lap With Kevin Sabatucci at the VR46 Motor Ranch‘ and ’A Lap With Andy Verdoïa at the Autodromo di Modena‘ videos:

Day 2 - Review Video

'A Lap With Kevin Sabatucci' Video

'A Lap With Andy Verdoïa' Video

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“Day 2 was a new experience, because I was given the opportunity to ride at a new track. This is of course always exciting, but especially so when you are learning how to ride it better from VR46 Academy riders. I want to thank Andrea and Niccolò for their help. I think all of us were really happy with the progress we made and scoring third in the Superpole is not bad. I want to say thank you to Yamaha, everybody at VR46 and bLU cRU. I really had a great time and I‘m feeling excited to continue the programme on Day 3.”

“Day 2 was a lot of fun! It started at the VR46 Motor Ranch in the morning. I really enjoyed the time we spent there, especially because we learned a lot. Then in the afternoon, with the YZF-R3, we did quite a lot of laps and I felt really good with the Pirelli tyres, I had a good pace. I felt really great on the new tyres, you can set a very fast lap on them, but it was important for me to train on the used tyres. We worked on consistency and made more and more laps, and still I set the same time on every lap. It was a really nice training session and good practice for the WorldSSP300 championship. It made me feel ready for the next race in Jerez, where I hope to get a good result.”

“The second day was long, hard, tiring, and challenging, but in the best way! At the end, I‘m very happy. I was able to improve my skills at the ranch in the morning and added onto what we practised on Day 1. I‘m sure that this will help me a lot on Day 3, when we will try riding a full lap. At the Modena circuit, I really enjoyed the lay-out. It was such a shame that I couldn‘t set a fast lap time in the Superpole because I had a small crash, but I‘m still very happy with what I learned.”

“We had a great time on Day 2. It was fun to improve on the skills that we learned on Day 1, and we have another day at the VR46 Motor Ranch coming up, so I‘m looking forward to that. We went to the Autodromo di Modena in the afternoon to practise our skills with the YZF-R3 and I‘m quite happy how the day went for me. I want to thank all the people that worked with us at the two circuits, helping us improve.”

“We learned a lot on Day 2. Starting with the flat tracking. At the start of the session I had to get used to the bike, the track again, and the way to ride it. To be honest, I struggled a bit, but in the last session I made a step and that really helped. Suddenly it felt a lot more comfortable and easier, thanks to the tips I was given on body position. That helped me to go faster and in turn that made me enjoy the experience even more than I did on Day 1. The track session in the afternoon in Modena was fun from start to finish. I liked the track and we were able to get a lot of laps in. That allowed me to improve and go faster throughout the day. I just missed out on the Superpole podium, but the times were very close.”

MC7 - Day 2 Review Video
'A Lap With Kevin Sabatucci' Video
'A Lap With Andy Verdoïa' Video

In an effort to support young Italian riders aiming to become world-class racers, Valentino Rossi decided to put his vast experience and knowledge from his many years of racing to good use in 2014 and established the VR46 Riders Academy.

In March 2016, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. entered into a formal three-year partnership agreement with the VR46 Riders Academy as an Official Partner and also as its Official Motorcycle Supplier (at the end of 2018 the partnership was renewed for three further years).

In July of 2016, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and the VR46 Riders Academy staged the inaugural Yamaha VR46 Master Camp with the goal of helping selected young Yamaha talent make their way in the racing world by increasing their skills and experience in various racing disciplines, riding Yamaha YZ85, YZ125, YZ250F, and YZF-R3 bikes.

Since then the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp has put on six subsequent training events. The participants so far have been 32 mostly teenage riders who race in various championships on bikes like the YZF-R25 and YZF-R3, and hail from 13 countries in all: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United States.

Keminth Kubo, who took part in the fifth edition of the programme is currently participating in the CEV Repsol Moto2 Championship as a VR46 Master Camp rider.

In addition, Italian rider Alfonso Coppola has made the step up to the World Supersport Championship. With examples like these, it is clear Yamaha’s system of advancing young promising riders is seeing results.

The current sixth WorldSSP300 bLU cRU rider is none other than returning Indonesian, Galang Hendra Pratama (19), who took part in the first and second edition of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp programme. He went on to cause a sensation when he took the WorldSSP300 victory in Jerez in 2017 as a wild card rider. The epic win earned him a full-season ride for 2018 and 2019.

The riders for the seventh edition of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp were selected by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. A place in the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp can't be bought, nor can riders apply for a placement – riders are to be put forward by Yamaha distributors.

Source: Yamaha Motor Racing

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