Yamaha's bLU cRU program shares the same ethos as the FIM Europe MXGP Academy. The two work in unison to provide an opportunity for racers at national level to experience the world of professional racing to help create the next generation of champions. For both Yamaha and the FIM Europe, the program is not just about teaching the stars of tomorrow how to go fast on track. It also emphasises rider education, safety and sportsmanship while aiming to create memorable experiences for the talented young riders that take part.
The MXGP Academy just one of the many benefits for Yamaha’s YZ bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup riders. It complements the bLU cRU program by inviting 85cc and 65cc riders to attend selected FIM Motocross World Championship rounds to experience what racing is like at the highest level. The MXGP of Spain was the third Academy of the year, following on from events held at the MXGP of Portugal and MXGP of Latvia, with two more scheduled in 2022 at the MXGP of Germany (10-12th June) and the MXGP of Finland (12-14th August).
The bLU cRU riders were invited to the MXGP Academy in Spain based on their performances in their national championship. This year, a talented young female rider was selected, Carmen Gómez (YZ85), who attended the academy alongside her friends and rivals Jaume Martinez (YZ85), Mateo Collado (YZ65), Jose Antonio Orea (YZ65) and Iñaki Tolosa (YZ65). The riders were also allowed to bring along members of their families, who also took part in a ‘parent-training’ seminar that offered tips on guiding and nurturing their young athletes in a professional and supportive manner.
On Friday afternoon, the riders attended a special briefing with the MXGP Academy instructors Jan Postema and Martin van Genderen, and the MXGP Academy coach, two-time FIM Motocross World Champion John van der Berk. The briefing was followed by a technical session that highlighted safety and professionalism for the riders and a workshop for the family members that focused on how they could better understand and communicate with their young motocross rider.
Once the classwork was done, it was time to hit the Xanadu-Arroyomolinos track for two 45-minute sessions under the watchful eye of the coaches, and a flurry of MXGP stars that were out walking the track such as two-time FIM Motocross World Champion Maxime Renaux, and EMX125 title challenger Karlis Reisulis. On track, the focus was on improving technique, with each rider making impressive progress over the two sessions and ending the day with a massive smile on their face.
On Saturday, the MXGP academy attendees were taken on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the paddock where they saw and experienced how the world's biggest teams and riders approach a World Championship race weekend. The bLU cRU riders were able to see the Factory Yamaha MXGP and MX2 teams in action, including stars Maxime Renaux, Jeremy Seewer, Glenn Coldenhoff, Jago Geerts, and Thibault Benistant, and had the chance to speak to the previous MXGP round winner Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha’s Calvin Vlaanderen. After spending the day with their heroes, Sunday was all about watching them do what they do best, as they got to see all the action unfold trackside with their families.
After an incredible MXGP academy experience, all five riders have shifted their attention back to their national championship and the YZ bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup, which in 2022 sees 395 riders competing in 21 countries across Europe on Yamaha YZ125, YZ85, and YZ65 motocross bikes. From the bLU cRU Cup, 120 of the fastest young riders will be invited to race the YZ bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup SuperFinale, which will take place at the MXGP of Charente Maritime, in Saint Jean d’Angely, France (19-21 August).
From the SuperFinale, the top three finishers and two wildcards from each class will be invited to attend the prestigious bLU cRU Masterclass at the end of the year. At the end of the Masterclass, the winners will be selected. The YZ125 bLU cRU Cup winner will receive the ultimate prize of a place on Yamaha Motor Europe supported EMX125 team, where he or she will race a GYTR kitted YZ125 in the 2023 EMX125 Championship, while the selected YZ65 and YZ85 riders receive added support and GYTR parts for the following season.