July 28, 2017
The fourth day of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp was full of action, as the riders were taught Pilates and gained some new skills at the Misanino KCE World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on MiniGP bikes and in go-karts.
It was an action-packed fourth day for the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp students. VR46 Rider Academy's Franco Morbidelli, Luca Marini, Francesco Bagnaia and Andrea Migno helped the students at the Fisio Gym in the morning, before Nicolò Bulega took over in the afternoon when the young talents hit the Misanino KCE World Circuit Marco Simoncelli and got serious about MiniGP and go-kart racing.
Still excited from meeting Valentino Rossi yesterday, Italy's Alfonso Coppola (19), France's Enzo De La Vega (17), Finland's Kimi Patova (15), Ukraine's Mykyta Kalinin (18), Brazil's Renzo Ferreira (15) and the Netherlands' Robert Schotman (18) couldn't wait to find out what the Master Camp had in store for them next. Soon four VR46 Academy riders assembled at the Fisio Gym to keep them company as the group split into two: one half went on to participate in a Pilates class, a new experience for the Master Camp students, as the others trained with the VR46 Academy riders. Half way through the gym-session the groups swapped places.
"When the guys from the Master Camp join us, the only trouble for us is that we have to get up early to go to the gym in the morning", teased Migno. "Jokes aside, it's nice because we enlarge our group of 10 to 12 riders with those guys and we spend a week with them and it is fun, both for us as well as for them." Migno's sentiment was echoed by Morbidelli.
"In my opinion [the Master Camp] is a wonderful thing", said Morbidelli. "They are all young guys of 15, 16, 19 years old, who have this big opportunity, which is that they're able to train with us and see our life-style. They do all the activities that we do, followed in an impeccable and fantastic manner by the whole Yamaha team. It is nice to see something like that done by Yamaha for young riders." Bagnaia thoroughly agreed with his fellow Moto2 rider.
"I think that they are very envied riders because they can come here and spend time with Vale and our group. We're always available for them and we help them a lot, especially in the morning, when we go to the gym with them and we try to do something with all of us together. In my opinion it is a great opportunity for them, because they can see everything we do. If I was a young rider I would love to get a call from Yamaha to participate in the Master Camp."
After the Pilates helped relax the riders' muscles, they were refreshed and ready to start on the next lesson given by Moto3 rider Bulega. He explained the perfect line and gear changes for MiniGP bike racing at the Misanino track, before they were ready to suit up and step aboard their Master Camp mini bikes.
After a few outings on track, the riders felt confident they could handle a bit of a challenge, whilst being cheered on by flat track expert Marco Belli, who came as a spectator.
The traditional Master Camp MiniGP race was won by Kalinin, ahead of Schotman and De La Vega in second and third place respectively.
After the thrills of the race, the young protégés prolonged the experience and headed back out on track in go-karts. They soon found a good rhythm and held a friendly but hard-fought match, which was won by Coppola. De La Vega came second and Ferreira third.
So far, the riders have acquired a variety of experiences and skills, which prepares them for more track action on the final day of the Master Camp, today.
" It was nice to do the Pilates class, because I can go back home after the Master Camp and continue using what I learned, but the best part of the day was going to the Misanino track. It was very good for me to ride on the MiniGP bikes, because the small two-stroke taught me some valuable things that I can apply to racing on my own bike. It was a great experience and very interesting to be at the track with Nicolò Bulega, because we were able to ask him questions and interact with him. The karts was an opportunity for all the Master Camp riders to be at the same level, so for me this was a good reason to stay concentrated and never slow down and I won the race."
Enzo De La Vega
"Yesterday was a really great day for me. In the gym, it was really cool to try Pilates, which is something I had never done before. I really liked it, because it helps to get the muscles to relax and get longer. In the afternoon, I enjoyed riding the MiniGP bikes, mostly because I ended up being third on the podium. The karts were also fun. I liked that we were able to do that with all the bLU cRU riders together, and I was really happy to end up in second position in the race. I want to thank the Yamaha staff and the people helping out this week, because I really feel like I'm living in a dream."
"Pilates was a great start of the day. It was a new experience for me, so that was really nice. The karting was a lot of fun, but the kart broke, so I had to change karts and that didn't help me for the race. I really liked the karting and the MiniGPs. The mini bikes were a bit more difficult for me. Yesterday was my first time riding one, but it was a good learning experience. "
" It was quite an emotional day for me. I was fighting for the best result in the MiniGP race and I'm really happy that I got the win, ahead of Robert Schotman. At the end of the day we had another battle during the go-kart race. I was also doing good in that race, but then there was a problem with the brakes of my kart, so I had to switch to another one. I couldn't find the same rhythm that I had before, but I still had a great time. I want to thank Yamaha, the Master Camp staff, VR46 and the bLU cRU, because I really like the opportunities that were presented."
"The Pilates was new to me, but it was really good to help relax the muscles and afterwards I felt much better and more comfortable on the bike, so my first impression is really good. It made me ride in a different way and I got less tired than I usually get when riding, so I will continue to do Pilates in the future. The first session of the MiniGP bikes was difficult for me, because I had never ridden a two-stroke before. It was difficult to get the gears right and get used to the weight, but I improved over the session and think I did a good job, it being my first time. After the race I felt confident and now I have more knowledge on mini bikes, so I will start practising on those from now on and hopefully I'll improve further. Nicolò Bulega was very helpful. He first watched us and then gave us tips. After that we had the go-kart session, which was more fun for me. I've done some races in the past and I got third. I want to thank all the bLU cRU members, because we had a really nice fight, as well as the Master Camp staff for organising it."
"The gym session consisted of a Pilates class, which I think can best be described as "similar to yoga". Since the training at the VR46 Motor Ranch I could feel a bit of a muscle ache and this really helped me relax. After the gym session, we went to the Misanino circuit to ride 50cc two-stroke superbikes and they were "super". I had a lot of fun, though the positioning on the bike wasn't great for me. With the MiniGP bikes it's important to find the right lines and gears and with the help of Nicolò Bulega we got it quite OK. Mykyta Kalinin and I were the fastest and really close to each other in every session. I had pole for the race and in the race I led for 17 laps, but on the last lap I "decided" it would be smart to make a mistake and come second. After that we went karting. I love the karting suits that we were given, that had our names on them. In the beginning, I felt quite good. All the riders were close to each other and I felt like I could improve and get into a nice battle with them, but then I experienced some problems with my kart. I was given a new one for the race, but had to start from the back of the grid. This, the second kart, felt much better so I was able to overtake some of the guys and come up to third position, but in the end it was a clash of the titans between me and Renzo Ferreira that meant I finished fourth, but I still had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the battles. "