The ninth-edition Yamaha VR46 Master Camp students got into the swing of things on Day 2 of the programme. They impressed their coaches with their pace on the YZF-R3 bikes at the Pomposa track and aboard the YZ250Fs during flat track racing. However, the biggest highlight of the day was meeting Valentino Rossi and the VR46 Academy riders in between training sessions.
Tavullia (Italy), 20th August 2021
The second day of the ninth Yamaha VR46 Master Camp gave Unai Orradre (aged 17, from Spain), Bahattin Sofuoglu (it was the Turkish rider’s birthday, turning 18), Humberto “Torquinho” Maier (aged 15, from Brazil), Fenton Harrison Seabright (aged 19, from the UK), and Iker Garcia Abella (aged 17, from Spain) the opportunity to showcase their talents in two racing disciplines: road racing and off road. In the morning they got up to speed at the Circuit di Pomposa (on YZF-R3s, made possible by Pirelli), they then watched Valentino Rossi and the VR46 Academy riders in action on MiniGP bikes (a discipline they were going to try the following day) before heading to the VR46 Motor Ranch for yet more Flat Track action with the YZ250Fs.

The Master Camp riders had been looking forward to today’s programme because they are more than familiar with the YZR-R3 bikes. The Master Camp team gave the new arrivals a quick rider briefing before it was time to have some fun.

It didn’t take the protégées long to get up to speed on their YZF-R3s fitted with Pirelli tyres, and things got heated in the traditional Master Camp Superpole session. There was nothing between them at times, but ultimately it was Seabright who took first place amongst the Master Camp riders, ahead of Orradre and Sofuoglu, who finished in second and third position respectively.

The students were enjoying themselves riding with a race drone following them, but little did they know the Master Camp crew had a surprise in store for them – a big one. The riders were asked to walk to the other side of the venue, to the MiniGP track. They were especially invited by VR46 to a private training session, to watch Rossi and their VR46 Academy friends in action.

After a quick photo opportunity, the Master Camp riders couldn’t believe their luck that they were watching the The Doctor live in action, right in front of them. After taking a close look at the different race lines and riding styles, the riders were even more excited to try MiniGP themselves on Day 3.

“It was great that the Master Camp’s and the VR46 Rider Academy’s schedule overlapped, so the Master Camp guys could quickly come say ‘Hello’, said Rossi at the end of Day 2.

“They watched the training session of the VR46 Academy riders. They had already met some of them on Day 1. I know as a racer you don’t want to watch, you want to join the others on track. But I hope they still enjoyed the show. Hopefully they could see how we chose our race lines because that is important. Their MiniGP training on Day 3 will focus on that.

“I heard from the coaches that these guys are good students. They listen and absorb the information like sponges. It will be interesting to watch their progress over the next few days. I hope they will have a lot of fun!”

Soon after the VR46 MiniGP session, the Master Camp trip continued. The riders returned to the VR46 Motor Ranch where they impressed teacher Marco Belli with their ability to absorb information and put it directly into practice.

“We started the Day 2 session on the little oval. The same one we finished at on Day 1”, shared Belli. “We saw that they already made some good progress They put the information and instructions we gave them into practice, so we moved on to the big oval and let them have an Americana style session. The Americana is the same thing that the VR46 Academy riders do every night after their practice sessions at the VR46 Motor Ranch, so it was good for the Master Camp riders to experience that. It’s quite exciting for them and also technically it’s very demanding. The speed is high, and they have to be really in control – that takes a lot of focus. The results are good, they are all growing and around the same level, so I’m really happy. For the remainder of the programme they can ride on the full track, and we will let them race.”

You can all watch the Day 2 action HERE.
Unai Orradre

Unai Orradre

The R3 training was a very good and very positive session. I liked the circuit a lot and it seemed very complete. I took second place in the Superpole, and we celebrated it as a real podium!

After that we met Valentino. He has been my idol from a very young age, and I have always dreamed of this moment. It was a unique sensation to have your idol two steps away. I’m very grateful to Yamaha, VR46, and the Master Camp to have been given that experience.

Watching Valentino and the VR46 riders in action bikes was helpful. We are learning from the best, and that shows. On Day 3 I will try to do various movements and various things that I have seen them do during the MiniGP training.

Lastly, we had our second Flat Track session. I have improved my position on the bike a lot and practised the ‘entry, step, and exit’ of the curve. I also had a lot of fun practising on the Americana circuit.
Bahattin Sofuoglu

Bahattin Sofuoglu

It was great to ride the R3 at the Pomposa circuit. That was actually the most fun activity for me so far. We also watched Valentino. It’s the second time that I met him, and this was a great moment. I noticed that Valentino's riding is fast, smooth, and clever. I want to take this as an example for my future racing career. Then we ended the day riding Flat Track. It was better this second time. I improved on entering and exiting corners and we got to move up from the small oval to the Americana.
Humberto Maier

Humberto Maier

It was a lot of fun to ride the R3 bike at the Pomposa Circuit. I really liked the way that the track is actually very technical. Meeting Vale afterwards was exciting! I couldn't believe I was watching him train on a motorcycle! He is really a very experienced and skilled rider, it was unforgettable! How he and the VR46 Academy riders make the turns, it's amazing! It felt inspiring. I improved a lot on Flat Track later that day. I can make the bike slide more!
Fenton Harrison Seabright

Fenton Harrison Seabright

It was great to be able to train on the R3. This is my first year riding the R3, so it was good fun around the Pomposa Circuit, and it was great to get the Superpole and the fastest lap!

It was also amazing to meet my idol. It was a dream come true after so many years to watch him train in real life with the VR46 Academy. It was amazing to see the different riding styles from the VR46 Academy, and I’m really looking forward to Day 3’s MiniGP session and trying some new things.

The Day 2 Flat Track session was much better than Day 1’s. I was improving on every lap and learning more and more as we went on. I’m starting to get to grips with the Flat Track bike.
Iker Garcia Abella

Iker Garcia Abella

It was a lot of fun to train on R3s at the Pomposa Circuit, because it’s a new track for me. I fought a lot with my ‘teammates’, and I learned something new for the future.

It was a unique experience to have a meet & greet with Valentino. I was actually a little nervous before meeting him. When I watched him and the VR46 riders, I noticed that they have a lot of speed in the corners, and that’s an important thing to try during our MiniGP session.

I enjoyed the second flat track session a lot. I’m happy that we have one more training session at the VR46 Motor Ranch because it’s a very nice experience.