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Yamaha Celebrates Championship Success at Portimao

Yamaha Celebrates Championship Success at Portimao

Last weekend, Yamaha was crowned Manufacturers’ Champions in both the FIM Supersport World Championship and FIM Supersport 300 World Championship, with bLU cRU graduate Alvaro Diaz lifting the title in the WorldSSP300 class at Portimao.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu also closed the gap at the top of the FIM Superbike World Championship standings with a pair of victories in Portugal, while the first winner of the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European SuperFinale, and with it a fully supported spot on the 2023 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup grid, was decided.

Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, looked back on the weekend: “Firstly, everyone at Yamaha was deeply saddened by the news of Victor Steeman’s passing. We all offer our condolences to his family, friends, loved ones, and the entire MTM Kawasaki team. Overall, it was nice to see the fans back in Portimao, we’ve seen the interest in motorsport and WorldSBK really grow here. It has been an important event for Yamaha, where we have secured three world titles in the support categories. Clearly our racing platform is becoming more global, with eight Yamaha R1 bikes on the grid in WorldSBK, and it was nice to welcome the Attack Performance and YART Yamaha teams as wildcards.”

Razgatlıoğlu Hits Back in the Algarve

In the shortened opening race, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Razgatlıoğlu dominated proceedings, stretching his legs out front and giving himself a comfortable gap to take victory. 

Sunday’s Superpole Race saw a defending masterclass from the late-braking Turkish star, while his second-place finish in Race 2 rounded out a superb final European round for the reigning champion.

Andrea Locatelli also enjoyed a strong outing in Portugal. The Italian equalled his best qualifying performance in fourth, and his two sixth-place finishes didn’t tell the full story, as he reduced the gap to the podium places significantly compared to recent rounds. 

“After a difficult round in Barcelona, I’m really glad to see a strong reaction from our riders and team here in Portimao. Especially Toprak who achieved two important wins and a second place. Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for more than this and the package was very competitive. It was amazing to watch him at this rollercoaster race track, particularly in the way he was able to hold off Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati in the Superpole Race. This gives us extra motivation for the three overseas races. We’ve also seen a positive weekend for Andrea; it was probably one of the best weekends of the year for him, not in terms of results, but in the way he managed to reduce the gap to the leaders here.”

GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Garrett Gerloff showed front-running pace on Friday, but a difficult qualifying left him needing to recover back to the top 10 in the races. Teammate Kohta Nozane was unable to score points, while wildcards Jake Gagne and Marvin Fritz, impressed for Attack Performance Yamaha Racing and the YART Yamaha team respectively.

“Garrett started quite well, going third quickest on Friday. Unfortunately, his qualifying compromised the races a bit, but he was able to recover the positions in the races and showed good speed. With Kohta and the team, we were all expecting a better result, but a crash in FP3 didn’t help his preparations. We know he can do better than what he showed in Portimao, so we look forward to the coming races. Congratulations to Jake first of all for another title in MotoAmerica, and it was nice to see his progression during the weekend. It is always a challenge to adapt the bike with a different tyre, but it’s positive to see that he was able to improve the performance. Similar for Marvin, who constantly improved his feeling with the bike throughout the round.”

Aegerter Scores Record 13th Win as Yamaha Crowned Champions

Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Dominique Aegerter flew to new heights with his 13th win of 2022 in Race 2, with title rival Lorenzo Baldassarri scoring a 14th WorldSSP podium on Saturday. These results cemented Yamaha’s sixth consecutive manufacturers’ title in the class with three rounds remaining.

“I’m glad that for the sixth year in a row, we’ve been able to win the manufacturers’ title. Overall, the class is becoming more and more challenging, with the other brands becoming more competitive. It was great to see the four brands fighting for the win in Race 1, and congratulations to Stefano Manzi and Triumph for their first win. Dominique enjoyed a very impressive performance on Sunday after missing out on the podium in the opener, and to take a 13th win of the year already shows just how impressive his season has been so far. Lorenzo did well to come back from seventh position on the grid in the races, and he was very close to victory in Race 1. Unfortunately, a race incident on Sunday compromised his final result. It was also nice to see Jules Cluzel fighting for the podium again on such a demanding race track.”


Diaz: Yamaha’s First bLU cRU World Champion

Having graduated from Yamaha’s bLU cRU program at the end of 2020, Diaz returned to WorldSSP300 this year and showed unrivalled consistency throughout the season. The Spanish youngster was crowned champion on Saturday, closing out 2022 with an 11th podium in second.

The former Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup riders also starred, with Humberto Maier claiming his first podium in Race 1. Fellow Brazilian and 2022 Cup winner Enzo Valentim was in the front battle for both contests, finishing eighth and sixth, while title rival Devis Bergamini crashed out from third position at the final corner. Indonesia’s Wahyu Nugroho also impressed, scoring points in his first WorldSSP300 outing.

Italian youngster Mirko Gennai took his maiden victory in the championship on Sunday, with Matteo Vannucci, already twice a winner this year, joining him on the podium in third.

“We are really happy to have scored both titles as a rider and manufacturer for the first time since 2017. It’s an important achievement for Yamaha, so I would like to thank Alvaro and the Arco MotoR University Team for this fantastic result. Alvaro has been a part of our bLU cRU program in the past, and it’s nice to see his progression; this year he is a really mature rider. On top of the speed, his consistency has allowed him to become the first bLU cRU WorldSSP300 champion. It’s nice to see that a small group of people with a lot of passion supported by the university are able to achieve such an incredible result.

“It has been an important round also for our step-up program. It was nice to see four of our recently promoted riders from the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup perform so strongly. Congratulations to Humberto for achieving his first-ever podium, as well as Enzo who was just outside the podium places. It has been a shame that Devis was unable to make the finish, as he was on for a superb podium with one corner to go. We were also impressed by Wahyu being competitive and scoring points, and this is further confirmation that the level of the bLU cRU program is very high. Of course, it was great to have Mirko on the top step of the podium after coming close so many times this year as well.”

Ercolani Wins Dramatic First R3 SuperFinale 

With home favourite and Race 1 winner David Da Costa falling from the lead at Portimao’s tricky final corner, Emiliano Ercolani powered through to take Race 2 victory and overall Yamaha R3 SuperFinale honours.

French youngster Evann Plaindoux was second, ahead of 2021 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup rider Kayla Yaakov from the United States, who starred on her return to European competition.

“We are all excited to discover the new talent that will join the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup next year. The R3 SuperFinale provided two tight races with a lot of fast riders. 25 youngsters from 11 countries shows the global interest in the Cup and we have seen a lot of talent who I’m sure will have very bright futures. Congratulations to Emiliano for the victory, who has won the entry for next year’s R3 Cup, as well as the Race 1 winner David, who was very unfortunate in the second contest. We saw great performances from the four female riders too, especially from Kayla, who finished second in Race 2 and fought for the win in both. So well done to her, as well as Evann for being on the overall podium; both of them clearly have a promising future ahead of them.”