bLU cRU Concept
Yamaha’s bLU cRU programme is a platform to support the next generation of young riding talent in both road and off-road racing. The platform creates a professional environment that is used to encourage, nurture and build tomorrow’s racing stars through the guidance and unparalleled experience of the Yamaha Racing world.
The bLU cRU platform is also represented at the pinnacle of each global racing discipline contested by Yamaha. Yamaha Racing’s top Official riders in MXGP, Enduro, Dakar, WorldSBK, WorldSSP and Endurance have the responsibility of being bLU cRU Ambassadors. These elite racers stand as an example for the young racing generation of tomorrow, upholding key values for racing and manufacturer representation, including performance, education, dedication, respect and health and fitness. Their spirit of success and behaviour in the eyes of both the media and the racing fans sets the standard for the bLU cRU generation of tomorrow.
For young ambitious off-road riders, the YZ125 bLU cRU Cup provides the perfect entry into Yamaha’s racing pyramid. Riders that race YZ125’s inside their National 125 Championships can apply pre-season to be part of the program. Once accepted, they will be provided with a bLU cRU package with a number of benefits, including Yamaha Racing Paddock Blue clothing, bLU cRU sticker set for their YZ125 machine and more.
The top performing riders (up to a maximum of 44) in their National Championships will reach the YZ125 bLU cRU Cup Superfinale, a true international race held at one of the world’s biggest motocross events. The top three finishers at the Superfinale and two wildcard riders will move on to take part in a unique Yamaha Masterclass under the guidance, supervision and advise of the bLU cRU Ambassadors. From this, one lucky rider is picked to move up and join the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 Team as an Official Yamaha rider in the 2018 EMX125 Championship.
Since the bLU cRU YZ125 Cup’s inception in 2015 – it has grown into the most successful feeder program into the European EMX125 Championship. Sweden’s Tim Edberg won the first ever bLU cRU YZ125 Cup after his impressive performance in the Superfinale which took place inside the VELTINS-Arena, at the SMX Cup. His performance earned him a place in the Masterclass with David Philippaerts where his speed, skill, commitment and enthusiasm won him a fully backed ride in the world’s premier amateur series, the EMX125 Championship with MJC Yamaha Official EMX125. Thanks to the full support and guidance of Yamaha’s bLU cRU program, the young Swede, Edberg, made a strong transition from national level racing to the world stage. He had break-out performance at the opening round of the EMX125 championship - which took place in April 2017 - at the historic sand circuit of Valkenswaard in The Netherlands, where he turned heads with his awe-inspiring ride from outside the top-ten and into second place on his EMX125 debut. Unfortunately, the second race didn’t go as smoothly as he fell and broke his thumb, but still recovered for a gritty seventh place to finish fourth overall at the season opener – which was his best result of the season. While recovering from his thumb injury for the majority of the season, he managed to finish eighth overall, but proved his talent enough to awarded a place inside the EMX250 Championship in 2018.
More than 80 riders entered into the 2017 YZ125 bLU cRU Cup program where 33 made it to the Superfinale which took place at the biggest and most watched motocross event in the world, the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. After a wild and challenging, yet extremely fun and rewarding weekend, five riders were selected to attend the bLU cRU Masterclass that will take place in Italy at the end of October. The riders selected were the top-three finishers in the YZ125 bLU cRU Cup Superfinale; sixteen-year-old Swede Arvid Lüning, sixteen-year-old Italian Francesco Bassi and Bassi’s fourteen-year-old compatriot Kevin Cristino. They will be joined by the two kids that made the wild-card selection; Race 1 winner, fifteen-year-old Estonian Jorgen-Matthias Talviku and sixteen-year-old Frenchman Pierre Moine. During the Masterclass, the five riders will be carefully observed by the professional motocross riders and industry names who have been mentoring them throughout the year. One talented youngster will be selected at the YZ125 bLU cRU Cup winner. He will receive a professional contract to race a GYTR kitted YZ125 in the 2018 EMX125 series on the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team.
For 2017, the bLU cRU programme extended to the tarmac to ensure that Yamaha Racing’s wealth of experience can also be shared with tomorrow’s road race stars. Six selected competitive riders who performed strongly in their National or International Championships will move up to participate in WorldSSP300 class, on-board their Yamaha YZF-R3s’ with a full bLU cRU rider package.
At the end of the 2017 season the 14 Masterclass attendees will comprise the two winners of the Italian and French R3 Challenge, joined by three riders from each of the Dutch, and German R3 Cups and a further two wildcard riders from both the Italian and French R3 Challenge.
The winners of the Italian and French R3 Challenge will automatically graduate from the Masterclass, joined by a further maximum six graduates to enter the 2018 WorldSSP300 class within the WorldSBK Championship.
The six riders who were chosen to compete in the WorldSSP300 class for 2017 are Alfonso Coppola, Mykyta Kalinin, Robert Schotman, Kimi Patova, Enzo De La Vega and Renzo Ferreira. They each benefit from the R3 bLU cRU rider package, dedicated to supporting young riders in the international racing environment. This includes racing kit parts, a race service support at the track, a full paddock clothing kit and much more. The riders will participate in their own ‘Challenge’ within the championship, with the top rider moving up the racing pyramid to join an Official Yamaha team in a higher class the following season!