The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp students got special VIP treatment yesterday in Tavullia. Not only were they warmly welcomed to the Official Fan Club Valentino Rossi Tavullia, but they were also invited to the VR46 Motor Ranch to sit in on a private VR46 Riders Academy training and meet their hero, Valentino Rossi.
Tavullia (Italy), 14th May 2017
The fourth day of the third Yamaha VR46 Master Camp was full of
surprises for the third edition riders and will forever be engraved in their memories
as the day that they got to meet their idol, Valentino Rossi, at his VR46 Motor Ranch.
The day started off as normally, with the riders making an early start to complete a race simulator session and a running session at the Fisio Gym, with the intensity level being lowered a couple of steps from the days before by their trainer Carlo Casabianca and work-out buddies Moto3 rider Andrea Migno and Francesco Bagnaia, allowing the riders to recover from two intense days of training.
After stretching and a short 2km run, they headed to Tavullia, where two surprises were in store for the riders. Those had to wait a short while, however, because first it was time to go shopping at the only physical VR46 Store in the world (which also sells the Master Camp t-shirts and hoodies). The first surprise came in the form of a very tasty dessert. It was Canada’s Tom Casas 18th birthday yesterday and the Bar, Ristorante e Pizzeria Da Rossi establishment celebrated the occasion with a homemade chocolate ice cream cake.
The riders finished their plates in no time, which was the cue for Official Fan Club Valentino Rossi Tavullia Vice President, Flavio Fratesi, to make a special visit to the Master Camp lunch table. He asked the riders to head over to the VR46 fan club headquarters just around the corner, where they got the chance to sign up as members, received a VR46 Fan Club membership card and were showered with gifts, including a t-shirt and a cardboard version of the iconic Tavullia road sign.
With bags full of merchandise and gifts, the riders made their way to the Motor Ranch for a very special main event. They were especially invited by VR46 to a private training session, to learn the theory of the techniques from flat track expert Marco Belli, whilst watching their VR46 Academy friends in action. But first it was time for the headline act.
Once they arrived at the VR46 Motor Ranch, the students immediately noticed that a big Master Camp tent was put up on the sidelines in the grass for them, offering a perfect view of the track's ovals. The protégés didn’t have to wait long before the big event started. Rossi immediately made his way to the Master Camp tent upon his arrival, to shake hands with the students who he had been following from a distance over the last four days. He was more than happy to meet the six talents at his Motor Ranch and interested in their experiences of the week so far. (To find out what how the Master Camp started and what Yamaha's objectives are, watch an interview video with Motorsports Division & YMC MotoGP Group Leader, Kouichi Tsuji.)
After a photo opportunity and an exchange of gifts, it was time for some serious racing. The Master Camp riders couldn’t believe their luck that they were sitting front row to watch their childhood hero, as well as the VR46 Academy riders, live in action, right in front of them, with Belli at their sides to explain the techniques behind it and answer all their questions. It surely was a day they will never forget. (To find out what helpful skills the students picked up at the go-kart training, read the Master Camp’s fifth blog entry by Brandon Demmery.)
One of the students who really took Belli’s advice to heart is Anggi Setiawan. He has set his heart on making his debut on a World Championship level. To get to know the Indonesian rider better, you can watch his Master Camp interview video.