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Students Graduate from 10th Yamaha VR46 Master Camp

Students Graduate from 10th Yamaha VR46 Master Camp

Yesterday the 10th-edition students ended their Yamaha VR46 Master Camp experience with a final Flat Track session at the VR46 Motor Ranch and the traditional graduation ceremony at the VR46 headquarters in Tavullia.

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp riders concluded their five-day training programme with lofty report cards. 10th Yamaha VR46 Master Camp students Jurand Kusmierczyk (aged 17, from Poland), Devis Bergamini (aged 19, from Italy), Andrea Pizzoli (aged 18, also from Italy), Kevin Fontainha (aged 15, from Brazil), and Enzo Valentim Garcia (aged 17, also from Brazil) started the fifth day with a lot of excitement because it was race day at the VR46 Motor Ranch.

Flat Track instructor Marco Belli had invited Andrea Migno (their previous gym coach) as co-coach for the final day. With clear instructions on what to pay attention to, the riders went all out during the practice session before it was time to do a superpole and race over the entire circuit as well as an Americana. In the end, Fontainha secured first place again in the overall result, making it a hat-trick (MiniGP, Go-Kart, and Flat Track) for the Brazilian. Kusmierczyk came second and Bergamini third.

“The last day at the Ranch is traditionally race day for the Master Camp, and this time we did a race on the full track as well as an Americana-style race”, explained Bellli. “We had Migno present from the VR46 Riders Academy, so he could show the guys the correct lines to be effective on the full track. That was very exciting for the guys.

“First they did a Superpole, then a full-track race, and finally the famous Americana race. We were really happy with the way they were riding. They were all in control, so we are really happy with their progression. Congratulations to Kevin for being the winner!”

Then it was already time for the final event: the traditional VR46 headquarters guided tour and the graduation ceremony. During the tour, the students got to see the VR46 building and its functions. It houses both the company‘s commercial outlet, including a huge storage room, and the racing department that oversees all VR46 Academy riders. The tour ended in Valentino Rossi‘s office for the graduation ceremony, the place where VR46 and Yamaha first discussed the Master Camp programme in 2013.

The riders watched a summary video of the last five special days before being handed their official Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Certificate of Attendance. Of course, the Master Camp wouldn‘t part from the riders without presenting them with some extra gifts from VR46.

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp team want to sincerely thank Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Valentino Rossi, VR46, the VR46 Academy riders, the instructors, the supporting staff, and the programme‘s partners MSI Gaming, Oakley, Alpinestars, and Pirelli for their contribution to this project. Moreover, the team wishes the latest five Master Camp graduates all the best in their racing endeavours.

William Favero

Marketing & Communications Manager, Yamaha Motor Racing

First and foremost, I want to say ’congratulations and well done‘ to the Master Camp riders. This was arguably the most challenging edition yet because of the weather. The schedule had to be changed numerous times and the riding conditions weren‘t easy at all, but they all handled it with the professionalism, maturity, and mindset that you can expect from top riders. It was a real pleasure to work with such competitive, motivated, and well-mannered riders. And we will keep a keen eye on their future careers in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup and beyond. These five riders made us, Yamaha and VR46, very proud with their improvement. The Master Camp training programme has flown by, so now it's time for Yamaha and VR46 to focus on the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Moto2 Team again. Yamaha bLU cRU rider Manuel Gonzalez and former Yamaha VR46 Master Camp rider Keminth Kubo will be racing in Le Mans next weekend.

Jurand Kusmierczyk

Flat Track on Day 5 was alright. I struggled a bit to find the right rhythm on the full track, but I got it in the last couple of laps. Then we had the Americana races. I was running in second place in the first race when I accidentally took out Kevin. I‘m very sorry about that. The second race was cleaner, I didn‘t hit him. During that race I noticed my great progress over the days of the Master Camp. It was amazing to see how VR46 functions. You see all the bikes, all the trophies, the Wall of Fame, and everything involved in running a company and a World Championship team. It was truly a sight to behold. I think what I take away from the Master Camp is my improvement mentally. Even though I had a mental slip-up on Day 5 and didn‘t put into practice what I learned, I did actually learn a lot about how to think during my riding, how to properly start a riding day. I have switched my way of thinking during a day of riding. And the highlights of this experience are of course watching the VR46 Academy riders ride, and for us to be coached by Marco Belli, Marco Bezzecchi, training with Andrea Migno, and meeting Valentino. Those were all really good experiences.

Devis Bergamini

Unfortunately, this was the last day of the Master Camp. I had a lot of fun during these days. On Day 5, we completed our Flat Track training at the Ranch, and this time I had a good feeling on the bike, better than in the previous sessions. I‘m very happy about this. We had a full-track race and an Americana-style race, and it was so amazing. In the afternoon, we went to the VR46 headquarters. I already visited it once before, two years ago, but it‘s always fantastic to visit this company. The best memory of this Master Camp is that of the Flat Track because it‘s amazing to ride at the ranch of Valentino Rossi.

Andrea Pizzoli

To me, the Master Camp has been as beautiful as it was tough. On Day 5, I struggled to get the right feeling with the bike at the Ranch, especially with the front. But session by session I improved until the last race of the day. That race I enjoyed the most. I still regret missing the first few days of the Master Camp because I‘m really starting to enjoy the ’taste‘ of Flat Track. The VR46 Headquarters is so impressive – what a show! It‘s unbelievable. It‘s an awesome building to step inside of. It was probably one of the most emotional moments for me of the week because it was so impressive. Overall, the Master Camp was a beautiful experience. But it‘s also hard work – I have never trained so much in my life, with two riding sessions per day. I have never had the opportunity before to train with such high-level riders as those from the Academy before. So overall, everything was amazing, but if I really had to choose one moment it would of course be when I had the opportunity to meet Valentino Rossi. I want to say a huge ’Thanks!‘ to everybody who made it possible for me to join this training programme because I enjoyed it immensely.

Kevin Fontainha

The Master Camp has come to an end. It‘s been a magical and beautiful experience. I want to thank all those involved in organising and carrying out this programme because it‘s really something truly special for us riders. So, thank you Yamaha, VR46, the Master Camp staff, the Academy riders, and all others involved in this project. We rode the flat track again on the last day, which was great and a good way to end this week. We had the final races. I‘m very happy that I won again, just like I won the MiniGP Superpole and the Go-Kart event. I‘m so happy about all the training, the tips, and the experience that I got these last few days. Time has flown by. It‘s been a great opportunity, which I used to the fullest. I want to thank my team as well as my family too because they always support me.

Enzo Valentim

I didn‘t expect the VR46 building to be that big. I was mostly impressed by the heritage of VR46. You have Valentino‘s and Pecco‘s championship-winning bikes there on display. It was something so incredible. It was a really good week here, and I want to thank Yamaha Motor Company, Yamaha Motor Europe, Yamaha Motor Brazil, VR46, the Master Camp, and everyone who made this possible. Because it‘s a really good experience, and it has changed my mindset in a positive way for my entire life. It was such a good experience for me. I would love to come back here and see all of this stuff again and again and again. The best experience was watching the VR46 Academy riders race at the Ranch. It was incredible to see how fast they are and the techniques they use. You could see the experience and their hard work in their riding. They are of course used to riding Flat Track, and for me it was good to analyse it. And I was able to talk to some of them this week: Andrea Migno, Marco Bezzecchi, all of them, and especially Franco Morbidelli because he can speak Portuguese. I think this experience has changed my life. I will make some changes to my training and my riding. It was really good. Thank you all!