August 01, 2018
Fifth Edition Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Students Finish Programme On Day 5
Yesterday the fifth Yamaha VR46 Master Camp students graduated from their training course. They returned to the VR46 Motor Ranch, together with Luca Marini for some final flat track races, before attending the ending ceremony at the VR46 headquarters in Tavullia.
Tavullia (Italy), 1St August 2018
The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders were still pinching themselves about riding with Valentino Rossi and the VR46 Riders Academy at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as they headed back to the place where it all began, the VR46 Motor Ranch, to get some final tips from flat track instructor Marco Belli and Moto2 rider Luca Marini.
The students were clearly feeling inspired after riding with their heroes the day prior. They upped their level and had three hard-fought battles aboard their YZ250F bikes - two around the entire track and one American-style race on the oval. Ultimately the last Yamaha VR46 Master Camp challenge was won by Kobu, ahead of Ventura in second place, and Blackmon, who finished third overall.
Trainer Belli was very happy with the strides his pupils made this week:
"Day 5 was the last day of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp. As usual, we had a final race, so the riders could put into practice all the things we taught them during the week. For sure there was a lot of excitement amongst the riders. We saw quite a few crashes, purely because they were very keen on being first, which is not a pressure we put on them, but for them it's really important to be on the podium. We can confidently say that we are very satisfied with the steps we made. Some of the riders didn't have any experience on dirt and we saw them make good progress. However, what's more important to us is how they control their bike, maintain the correct body position and manage the throttle to be effective going in and out of the turn. They need to control the spin, the slides, the engine - everything - and they managed to do that, so we're very satisfied with this week's results."
It is always a sad goodbye when the students have to leave the VR46 Motor Ranch for the final time, but a visit to the VR46 headquarters - including a guided tour and a specially prepared lunch - soon lifted their spirits, just in time for one final treat.
The riders were taken into Valentino Rossi's office for the traditional graduation ceremony, led by VR46 Riders Academy Director Alessio 'Uccio' Salucci and Yamaha Motor Racing Srl's Managing Director Lin Jarvis. The riders viewed a summary video of the last five special days, before being handed their official Yamaha VR46 Master Camp certificate of attendance and some extra gifts from VR46.
The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp team want to sincerely thank Yamaha, its sponsors and partners - Alpinestars, Akrapovič, Descente, Oakley, Pirelli, Yamalube and Saucony - as well as Valentino Rossi, VR46, the VR46 Riders Academy staff and its riders for their contribution to this project. Moreover, the Master Camp team also sincerely thank the five Master Camp riders for their efforts.
Lin Jarvis (Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing）
”We are very happy to reach the successful conclusion of the fifth Yamaha VR46 Master Camp. We had a really great group that was working together as a team, despite the fact that they come from different nations. They listened carefully to their instructors and followed the advice that was given. We clearly saw their progress, on the ranch more than anything because they did three separate days of activity there, and the speed of the guys now is significantly different from when they first arrived. I think they also learned from hanging out with the VR46 Academy riders and Valentino. They could see the dedication, the focus, the mindset that's required to improve yourself, and how you can use all the different disciplines to become a better racer. It was a great week, though it was extremely hot, so the conditions were tough for all of the riders here. The high humidity was very draining, but they all made it to the end and made great progress. It was really nice to see the big smiles of satisfaction on their faces at the end of the day. I wish them all the very best for the further development of their racing careers, using all the skills they picked up this week, and I also wish them a safe journey home.”
”The morning of Day 5 was great. I got to spend some more laps at the VR46 Motor Ranch and I had an absolute blast. We got to do a few different races and I ended in second position, so that was a good way to end the day and the Master Camp - but I'm very sad to leave. The whole compound of VR46 was amazing. I couldn't believe how it all goes together. My mind was completely blown, but it was amazing to see how it all worked. I think the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp has helped me a lot. I struggled with quite a few things and through this programme we got a better grasp of what I'm exactly struggling with. I also learned a lot from the other riders. I want to thank Yamaha and VR46 for making this experience possible. I'm very excited to take what I learned and move forward.”
Jackson Blackmon (Graves/Yamaha-Supported R3, #18）
”In the morning of Day 5 we went to the VR46 Motor Ranch for the third time and I would say "three times is the charm". My riding was a lot better and the races were great. It started with a warm up and then we did some races. The races were really fun and I was able to end in third place overall and it felt really good. I definitely progressed a lot on flat track and getting to go to the VR46 headquarters was so cool, to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff. I got to try a lot of different experiences this week and was put in various situations that wouldn't have happened had I not been here. Getting all these experiences is a lot to take in, there's a lot of learning in every aspect of what we did here that will help me train better for my races. A big thank you to the Yamaha and VR46 staff, as well as the academy riders for their help and support.”
”When I first arrived at the flat track, at the start of the programme, I had a lot of difficulties, but I improved a lot day by day. I'm so happy with my results and with how I improved since we arrived and when I did my first session. I know I can do even better if I train some more. I was really impressed and surprised with how beautiful and big the VR46 headquarters is. Besides the tour we also had a great lunch there. Afterwards, when I saw the video, I felt many emotions. I was so happy to have been part of this experience, especially when I received the certificate from Lin and Uccio. I think flat track was a very influential part for me, because I had never done it before, and it helped me learn many new skills. I learned a lot from Marco Belli and all the VR46 Academy riders. I'm very glad to have shared this experience with the other Master Camp guys. Thank you Yamaha, for making this possible. I hope that when I arrive in Brazil that I, in my turn, can share this information, which is very important for Brazilian riders.”
”I had a crash the day before, but I decided to ride anyway on Day 5. The first laps were fine, with a good speed and rhythm, but after some laps I started to feel discomfort. Nevertheless, I'm very happy to have gained experience on the flat track, which is something I had never done before. The VR46 offices are like a paradise to me - like a dream: it's all too beautiful and perfect. The hard work of its staff impressed me a lot. The Master Camp didn't so much improve my riding style, but rather my psychological approach. Of course I want to thank all the instructors, because I improved a lot over these past few days. I also want to thank the staff, the VR46 Academy riders, Valentino, everyone, including my friends - my fellow Master Camp riders. We're not competitors, we made friends here. Last but not least I want to thank Yamaha Motor Brazil for bringing me here. It was like a dream come true and I'm so happy!”
”In the morning of Day 5 we had a flat track riding session and three races. At first I got super excited, but that wasn't a good thing. The first round went badly because of it, but I had two more races to go. I tried to calm down and stop overthinking it. I just enjoyed myself in the second and third race and did better. I gained a lot of experience, not just about racing but also on other aspects of my riding such as my control, my mindset, my emotion - I need to control myself more. This is a good end for me at the Master Camp. In the afternoon, after all the races, we went to the VR46 headquarters. I saw a lot of things that were new to me. The statues and interior are really impressive - I loved it! I also met the staff and saw Valentino Rossi's office. I saw how it all was organised and in control. It was a privilege to be there, because Valentino is my idol. These five days have been very intense, but also worthwhile. I heard about the Master Camp from the first edition students and now I'm just so proud that I have completed the programme too. I would like to say thank you to everyone, to the staff, organisations, caretakers, translators, everyone. I will think about this programme every day when I'm at home, to keep developing myself.”