For many of us, getting a glimpse of Valentino Rossi at this month’s British MotoGP at Silverstone will be a once in a lifetime memory. But never mind having a selfie or an autograph from the great man himself, five young racers have just had the ultimate treat from the racing icon after being invited around to his ranch for a five day burn up with The Doctor and his VR46 team during the MotoGP summer break.
The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp saw teen racers from America, Brazil and Thailand join Rossi and his buddies on a training camp that saw the training on YZ85 motards and YZ125 motocrossers, before finishing up with a massive flat track race around Rossi’s famous ranch on YZ250F derived flattrackers. The guys also rode on the nearby Misano with Rossi himself, using Yamaha YZF-R3 supersport bikes.
Rossi called upon his huge team of advisors and protégés, including flattrack ace Marco Belli, life long pal (and academy director) Uccio Salucci and racers Francesco Bagnaia, Marco Bezzecchi, Stefano Manzi, Andrea Migno and Lorenzo Baldassari to put on the master classes.
This was the fifth annual Master Camp, to which places are by invitation only through Yamaha distributors, and Rossi remained as enthusiastic as ever about the project. He said: “It was a great pleasure to ride with the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders. I‘m happy that they could join us in Misano, so I could see them ride. I was curious to see what steps they made, because it‘s almost the end of the fifth edition. I‘m very happy with this Master Camp, it‘s always a very special event, and yesterday was especially nice with also all the riders from the VR46 Riders Academy there at the circuit. I had the opportunity to watch the Master Camp guys ride their YZF-R3s and some of the riders were very fast. I enjoyed spending time on the track with them and I hope they got some good experience from it and also had fun.”
Yamaha racing boss Lin Jarvis added: “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.”
Valentino Rossi and Yamaha return to the day jobs this weekend as the MotoGP series returns with the Czech Grand Prix.