July 27, 2018
Hot Start To The 5th Yamaha VR46 Master Camp
Just because it was the first day at the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, didn't mean the coaches were going easy on the new protégés. The riders started the day with quite the intense work-out at the Fisio Gym, before getting acquainted with Valentino Rossi's Motor Ranch.
Tavullia (Italy), 27th July 2018
After a quick introduction yesterday evening, blistering sunshine in the region of Tavullia, Italy, greeted the five new Yamaha VR46 Master Camp talents at the start of the fifth edition. One thing was for sure: today they we're going to work up a sweat. First on today's programme was an intense training session at the Fisio Gym with fitness trainer Carlo Casabianca, assisted by MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli and Moto2 rider Luca Marini. The VR46 Academy riders would help explain the exercises in the morning, while three-time English Flat Track Champion and two-time American and European Flat Track Champion Marco Belli would take over proceedings at the VR46 Motor Ranch in the afternoon.
USA's Cory Ventura (aged 16) and Jackson Blackmon (aged 17), Brazil's Eliton Kawakami (aged 18) and Bruno César (aged 18), and Thailand's Keminth Kubo (aged 19) had all completed a routine medical check-up the day prior, but like most riders their past is riddled with small injuries from crashes. Today they were taught how to stretch their muscles in a proper manner to enhance flexibility and help prevent further harm. This was followed by Pilates exercises and some action on the simulator, putting in hot laps around the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
After a quick lunch, a shopping trip at the Official VR46 Store and the Official Fan Club in Tavullia, the riders resumed their training.
In the afternoon flat track expert Belli also made a big step with the riders, who put in 100% effort. First the youngsters listened carefully to a short explanation before they were taught the basic skills on track by the multiple flat-track champion, as it's a new discipline for most of them. Despite the heat on the VR46 Motor Ranch, the students put in four hours of non-stop training aboard their YamahaYZ250Fs and saw great progress in their riding.
All in all, the first day of the Master Camp exceeded all the riders' expectations, and they all feel they have gained new experiences and skills that can help them further their racing careers.
The sentiment was echoed by Belli: "For sure the first day of the Master Camp is always emotional. It's like this every time, even for our fifth edition - it's the first day, so it's exciting. Today we tried to focus mainly on the correct position on the bike and we gave some specific exercises to help them. At the end of the day we saw that the level was good enough to let them use the little oval for a bit of a challenge and gain some speed. We are really happy about today's work. We saw a lot of progression and expect more over the next few days."
”I had an absolute blast this morning and learned quite a few new things. I had never done Pilates. We warmed up on bicycles and then did a bit of stretching. It's not the way I train back at home, so it was fun to try something new. The VR46 Motor Ranch was very similar to what I've seen in video games and stuff, but it was nothing I had ever experienced before. It was absolutely awesome to ride and it has blown my mind. I preferred to ride the bigger oval rather than riding in smaller circles, because I understand better how to do it with good pace and technique, but I enjoyed making progress with both exercises.”
”It was really cool to go to the gym where all the VR46 Academy riders go and to see how much hard work and preparation they put in before a weekend and also on a day-to-day basis. It was very inspirational and gave me some ideas that I want to bring home with me. The VR46 guys do many types of stretches every day and are very flexible, which is an advantage on the bike, so I would like to apply that to my pre-race preparations. The Motor Ranch is so awesome. It's tough because we're still learning, but it's so much fun. We came down the driveway and I couldn't believe we were actually here. I've seen so many videos, but it doesn't do it justice. Seeing the mountains in this valley, and so many legends have ridden here, including of course Valentino and the VR46 Academy riders themselves. It's all been great. The bikes are awesome. We slowly warmed up and worked our way up towards the end of the day and it's been going great. ”
”In the morning we went to the gym and it was quite the experience to be there with the VR46 Academy riders and do the same exercises with them, with the same teacher helping us. It was amazing. During lunch we went to the VR46 store next to the official fan club, the restaurant and the ice cream shop. It was unbelievable, I have no words to describe being in Valentino's home town. In the afternoon we saw the flat track for the first time. I was so happy to be given this opportunity. I have always wanted to try riding on the flat track, but it's not as easy as it looks! We learned step by step and improved our skills. I'm very happy with everything that happened and tomorrow I hope to learn even more.”
”Today was a great day and we still have many days to go! Today we met up with the VR46 Academy riders at the gym and we also went to Tavullia, Valentino Rossi's home town, which was very nice. We went to the official VR46 store as well, where I spent some money. It's only Friday, but already it's such a great experience. We went to the flat track for the first time in the afternoon. It was difficult because I needed to learn some new techniques to ride well, but I'm learning and it's been an amazing experience.”
”This morning we went to the gym and I never did any of the exercises before, it was all new to me. It was a good exercise to warm up for this afternoon's session. I love Pilates and I wanted to take one of those exercise machines home with me, because I want to start doing this at home. I was actually dreading the flat track session a little, because other Thai riders told me it was easy to make mistakes, but it was a really good learning experience. The bike was really good and Marco Belli gave really good advice. I just wish I could have someone like him teaching me the whole time throughout my racing career.”