July 26, 2017
The Master Camp Talents Take to the Flat Track
Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.'s six Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge riders completed their first day in the Province of Pesaro Urbino, Italy, yesterday, getting acquainted with the basic skills that they will work on throughout this week.
After a month of waiting, the six new Yamaha VR46 Master Camp talents were unable to hide their excitement when they started the fourth edition with a training session at the Fisio Gym yesterday. Moto2 championship leader Franco Morbidelli and Mugello Race Moto3-winner Andrea Migno assisted fitness trainer Carlo Casabianca explaining the exercises in the morning, while three-time English Flat Track Champion and two-time American and European Flat Track Champion Marco Belli took the students under his wing at the VR46 Motor Ranch.
The first day of the Master Camp stressed the importance of "safety first". After 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) all completed a routine medical check-up, they were taught how to stretch their muscles in a proper manner that enhances flexibility and helps prevent injuries.
"Safety" was again a buzzword in the afternoon as flat track expert Belli explained that the first riding session at the VR46 Motor Ranch wouldn't be about speed but rather all about bike control. The riders listened carefully to a short explanation of the basic skills by the multiple flat-track champion, under the watchful eye of VR46 Riders Academy Director Alessio 'Uccio' Salucci.
The introduction to flat track racing, a new discipline for most of the riders, was enough to help them make their first improvements at the VR46 Motor Ranch, which they describe as the best track they've ever ridden and left them wanting more.
"The first day of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp is all about getting the riders in the right position on the bikes, so they can work them easily. It's always a question of body position and throttle control", shares Belli. "Yesterday we worked a little bit more on the lower half of the body, because we noticed that they needed to ride the bikes more with that part instead of trying to solve situations using their upper body.
We did some special exercises and I can tell that most of these guys are used to these kinds of practice sessions, perhaps on dirt or supermoto. They're already able to control the bike, which is good, but then it becomes a matter of getting them to accept that they should start from zero, like a blank canvas. They have to start from scratch to learn the right lines, lean angle and correct timing to go on the brakes, to get the specific reaction from the bike that we're looking for. We will continue to work on this during the week."
Schotman echoed the sentiment. Despite having little to no off-road experience he made great progress and showed eagerness to keep the momentum going. Watch the interview video with the Dutchman to find out more about this witty rider.
4th Yamaha VR46 Master Camp: Review Day 01
4th Yamaha VR46 Master Camp: Rider Interview - Robert Schotman
"Yesterday morning at the gym it was very interesting to see the kind of training that the VR46 Academy riders and Valentino Rossi do, and how they use it to prepare for the races. It was also fun to meet Franco Morbidelli and see Andrea Migno again since the welcome dinner. It was nice to have the opportunity to talk to them. Then in the afternoon we went to the VR46 Motor Ranch, which was one of the best experiences of my life. I really enjoyed the time we spent there and I can't wait to go back."
Enzo De La Vega
"The first day of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp was very nice. We started 'easy' with some stretching at the gym and then in the afternoon we got on the bikes. I was very happy riding at the VR46 Motor Ranch. I really enjoy riding flat track and it was just an incredible day. Not only did I get to see the facility with my own eyes, but I also got to use it."
"The first day of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp was a bit challenging, but there was definitely some improvement and things went better and better all the time. It is a very fun project. I enjoyed spending time on the VR46 Motor Ranch and Marco, our teacher for the day, was very helpful and gave some good tips and shared some tactics that I will try today so I can improve even more."
"The first day of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp was a lot of fun and also useful, I gained some experience. My style of riding wasn't perfect, but I was happy with the speed. After the first day at the VR46 Motor Ranch I desperately needed a shower because of all the sand and dust, but I had a lot of fun. Today I will try to improve and gain as much skills and knowledge as I can. "
"Yesterday's gym session was really cool. We stretched and that was a good preparation for the afternoon. The highlight was when I met Franco Morbidelli, the Moto2 rider. That was really exciting because he speaks Portuguese too and is half Brazilian, half Italian. It was exciting to attend the same gym class as him, which was luckily quite 'light', because in the afternoon we went to the VR46 Motor Ranch and we really had to concentrate on the bikes. It was a very exciting first day so I'm now even more looking forward to today's sessions."
"Yesterday morning I expected the gym session to be so hard that I would pretty much die, but that wasn't the case. Instead we did a lot of stretching, which in hindsight was a good thing. In the afternoon, riding session at the VR46 Motor Ranch, you get very tired. I really liked the first day and I think I learned some new things. The riding at the ranch was tough, especially at the beginning. I have never really done any riding off-road before, only on the asphalt, so this was new for me. In the beginning, I was by far the slowest, but as I learned more I got closer and closer to the other guys and managed to follow them. There's still a lot to learn for me, but I think I've made some very big steps."