The seventh edition Yamaha VR46 Master Camp has officially commenced, with the five bLU cRU project participants learning how to use a race simulator from VR46 Riders Academy’s Franco Morbidelli and Andrea Migno, and showcasing their off-road talents to three-time English Flat Track Champion and two-time American and European Flat Track Champion Marco Belli.
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), were buzzing to start their training activities in Tavullia. Their first assignment was to complete a warm-up at the Fisio Gym, to loosen the muscles before putting in hot laps around the Misano World Circuit on the race simulator in full riding gear apart from the helmet, as demonstrated by MotoGP rider Morbidelli and Moto3 GP winner Migno.
Having worked up an appetite, the group then travelled to Bar, Ristorante e Pizzeria Da Rossi in Tavullia, where they also took the opportunity to sign up as a member at the Official Fan Club Valentino Rossi Tavullia and to go shopping at the VR46 Store.
Then it was time to really get down to business at the VR46 Motor Ranch. Flat track expert Belli was waiting for them there with five shiny YZ250F bikes and a detailed plan to get the flat track race-ready by the end of the week. After a short briefing on the correct riding position it was time for the riders put the theory into practice.
Joined on track by a VIP guest, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s factory eRider Lorenzo Daretti, the students focused mainly on bike and throttle control, and body positioning. Impressed with the progress made so far, Belli commented:
“I think I can speak for us all and say that we enjoyed the first day at the VR46 Motor Ranch. For some of the riders this was a totally new experience, but that’s why we always dedicate the first session here to letting the riders get used to the bikes and give them an understanding of how to ride on this surface. The ranch is actually a bit tricky, because it’s very slippery here, the riding sensation is different from what these guys are used to.
“I always enjoy working with young, professional riders, because what you teach them, they put into practice and you can see their progress over the course of the day. So far, we focused our work on the body position and throttle control, to ‘manage’ the sliding and to have a good interaction with the bike. It’s a very positive starting point for the next few days, and we can now go ahead with Day 2’s schedule, which is a bit more intensive and challenging.”
After the full-on first day of training, the new protégés relaxed in the evening by playing the MotoGP™18 game by Milestone with reigning double MotoGP eSport World Champion Daretti, who showed off his skills at the Misano track, proving to be unbeatable.
“It was great to be a part of the start of the 7th Yamaha VR46 Master Camp. It may even have been one of the best days of my life!”, shared the Yamaha Factory eRider, who is also a passionate motorcyclist.
“It was my first time riding on flat track, just like the Master Camp students. The VR46 Motor Ranch can only be described as ‘amazing’ and ‘enormous’. The riding at the start was very difficult though, it’s something that takes getting used to, because it’s very different from riding road bikes, which I’m more used to. But I’m sure we’ll all see improvements over the next few days.
“From what I’ve seen so far, this programme is fantastic. The WorldSSP300 riders are all great. At the end of the first day I bonded with them playing a video game and, as I’ve already expected after seeing them on track, they're very skilled. I have to say that I’m also very impressed with the teachers at the Master Camp. On top of that, the atmosphere here is amazing, so it’s all a lot of fun. I’m very excited that I get to spend a bit more time here after this great first day, I’m very happy.”
To relive the action of the first days in Tavullia, watch the Day 0 and Day 1 review videos:
Day 0 - Review Video
Day 1 - Review Video