A total of 21 riders from 13 different countries signed up for the test, and they were welcomed into the R3 village which was set up in a sunny corner of the Misano paddock.
Sunday saw each rider allocated their bike via its chassis number in a raffle, followed by a presentation from Japan Italy Racing (JiR)’s Gianluca Montiron and an informative speech from rider coach, Lorenzo Alfonsi. Each of the young hopefuls had their turn on the microphone to introduce themselves to their fellow riders, before it was time to pose in front of the cameras for portrait pictures.
The afternoon brought two surprise stars to the paddock for the riders to meet and greet; Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli and Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK’s Andrea Locatelli. The pair were happy to give out advice, take selfies, and chat about each youngster’s hopes and history.
Before the day was done, Alfonsi showed the riders around the challenging and technical circuit in a track walk, talking them through each corner and the ideal lines and gear selection.
Monday morning’s chill was quickly replaced by glorious sunshine when, after an energetic warm-up for their bodies, the R3 riders took to the track to try their bikes for the first time ahead of the opening round of the year in Assen from April 21st to 23rd. For some this was the first experience of riding the Yamaha, while others are returning after already enjoying a season or more in the championship. They were joined on track by Locatelli, who kept an eye on the riders’ progress, watched their lines, and gave them feedback after each session
In total, 6 track sessions gave everyone a chance to build, learn, and improve. After the flag flew each time, each rider returned to the R3 village to and were talked through their data by the bLU cRU technicians. They received crucial information, advice, and encouragement to help them understand how to glean the best performance from their new bikes.