The wait is over – Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy is hosting their Master Camp from August 18th to the 22nd, and the talent is hungrier than ever.
It’s been a long year since the VR46 Riders Academy was allowed to open its doors to the up-and-coming of the racing world.
This year, participants from all four corners of the earth have attended the iconic VR46 Master Camp, held at Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Ranch in Italy.
According to a report from RoadRacingWorld, participants with YZ65 or YZ85 motorcycles inside their National 65cc or 85cc Championships can apply pre-season to be part of Yamaha’s ‘bLU cRU’ program, and the five participants of the Master Camp are no exception to this qualification.
Each and every one of the racers is currently either riding for Yamaha Motor Europe‘s 2021 WorldSSP300 teams or competing in Yamaha Motor Europe’s 2021 Yamaha R3 ‘bLU cRU’ European Cup.
Here’s a list of the attendees for the 2021 VR46 Master Camp:
Unai Orradre, 17, Spain (Yamaha MS Racing); WorldSSP300 Championship participant
Bahattin Sofuoglu, 17, Turkey (Yamaha MS Racing); WorldSSP300 Championship participant
Humberto “Torquinho” Maier, 15, Brazil; Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup rider
Fenton Harrison Seabright, 19, UK; Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup rider
Iker Garcia Abella, 17, Spain; Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup rider
The camp will provide these furious five (hah) with new Yamaha VR46 Master Camp outfits, receiving top tutelage from track mastermind Marco Belli, three-time English Flat Track Champion, and two-time American and European Flat Track Champion.
Bikes used? YZ85s, and YZ250Fs, with soft-cross training on YZ125s and YZF-R3s, provided by Yamalube, Akrapovič, and Pirelli.
Lorenzo Daretti (Yamaha MotoGP/Trastevere73) will also be there as a guest lecturer for MotoGP eSports classes to teach the kids tips and tricks of the book when refamiliarizing to the track.
Here’s a succinct list of a few of the things the young talents will be up to that week:
Track day at the Circuit di Pomposa
Track day at the mini Supermoto Jeepers Park
Fisio Gym workouts with Carlo Casabianca
Practise throttle control with Yamaha EX Deluxe and Yamaha GP1800 WaveRunners at the beach
Stay tuned for updates – all media will be updated to the dedicated media channels for the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, and we’ll make sure to update here regularly.
Petronas Yamaha has just brought on 25-year old Garrett Gerloff for his official MotoGP debut at Assen this weekend – and the American rider is ready to rip up the asphalt.
According to a report by MCN, Gerloff is set to succeed Franco Morbidelli after an existing knee injury – acquired at Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Training Ranch – caused problems that were further aggravated at the Catalan Grand Prix.
Unfortunately, the aggravated injury will also keep Morbidelli from competing in the Dutch TT.
“I’m excited for the opportunity ahead, I’m not someone who runs away from a challenge, so I’m ready to get to the track,” Gerloff has said in a statement. “It’ll be a new circuit for me, I like trying new tracks, it looks fun, fast and flowing, and really suits my riding style. I’m looking forward to jumping on the Yamaha M1 again and twisting the throttle.”
Gerloff has already tucked three podiums under his proverbial belt from his debut WSB campaign last year – and with his current standing at sixth overall in WSB standings, the young racer is eager to continue in his successes.
“We’ll see how things go, but I feel good and would like to thank Yamaha and the team for considering me. It won’t be easy, but I’m going to give it my best shot!”
Should Rossi decide to retire, there is potential that Gerloff could have a shot at a potential position at the Petronas Yamaha team next season.
Fingers crossed for the weekend, and stay tuned here at MotorbikeWriter for more MotoGP-related updates!
As a highly unusual 2020 MotoGP season comes to an end, one of the sports great partnerships is also ending, with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team thanking Valentino Rossi for his 15 years of hard work, dedication, and passion.
Valentino Rossi has been a key member of the Yamaha family during two long terms in his impressive Grand Prix racing career (from 2004 to 2010 and from 2013 to 2020). The Factory Yamaha MotoGP Team took this opportunity to share their heartfelt appreciation of the still active MotoGP legend, as well as the departing crew members, and celebrate their remarkable achievements.
Valentino started riding for the team in 2004 and stayed for seven years, then had a brief two-year stint at Ducati, before he came back to Yamaha where he refound his purpose, his energy, and his performance. His second term with the Factory Yamaha MotoGP Team lasted eight years, one year longer than his first term and a clear indication of how much the Italian feels at home with Yamaha.
Valentino‘s list of results achieved with the Factory Yamaha Team is extensive. He earned four MotoGP World Championship titles and secured 56 victories and 142 podiums in their 255 Grand Prix races together.
“This is an important moment, because this is the end of our long journey together. Our history, between me and the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team, is divided into two parts – almost like a good movie, I think. The first part is from the beginning in 2004 to 2010. I think that was the best part of my career. We wrote history for Yamaha. We were able to win the championship for Yamaha after twenty-something years. I will always remember these achievements, for sure, because they are key moments in my career too. But I‘m also very proud of the second part. I want to say ’Thanks‘ again to Lin and all of Yamaha. They gave me a chance to come back to the Factory Team after two bad years with another factory, when I was already ’getting old‘ by MotoGP-standards, so I was desperate.
“I will never forget the moment when Lin told me I would have a chance to come back here. I‘ll always be thankful for that moment, because maybe I could also have stopped riding at that time if I wasn‘t able to come back here. My return to the Factory Yamaha team has lasted 8 years, so one year longer than the first part. The second part was a bit more difficult in terms of results, but we did come close to winning a championship at one point, which could have changed our story. But things happened the way they happened, and I‘m still thankful for the support I got from Lin, Maio, and all the Japanese engineers. But especially I want to say ’Thank you‘ to my crew. We‘ve been together for a long time. Bernie, Alex, Brent, Matteo, Mark, David, Idalio, and more. I also want to say thanks to the other guys from the team and the hospitality staff. And of course to my mate Maverick: we also had a good atmosphere with that side of the box, so I want to thank them too. Next year I will still be riding a factory bike with full factory support, just in different colours. It‘s true, I will not be sitting in the Yamaha Factory Racing garage, but I will be just next door – together with Matteo, Idalio, and David – so for sure we can still say hello.”
Besides Valentino, the Factory Yamaha Team is also saying goodbye to highly-esteemed and much-appreciated colleagues Brent Stephens (Mechanic since 1999), Alex Briggs (Mechanic since 2004), Matteo Flamigni (Data Engineer since 2000), David Muñoz (Crew Chief since 2020), and Idalio Gavira (Rider Performance Analyst since 2019), who are all part of The Doctor‘s crew.
Alex and Brent will be leaving Yamaha, while David, Matteo, and Idalio will continue their work with Valentino as a part of PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in 2021.
Javier Ullate (Mechanic since 2003) will also be leaving the team. In the 18 years he spent as a part of the Factory Yamaha crew, he worked with big names such as Carlos Checa, Marco Melandri, Colin Edwards, Jorge Lorenzo, and Maverick Viñales, helping them secure many victories and podiums, including three titles with Jorge.
The Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team couldn‘t let this occasion go by unnoticed. On Thursday 19 November, the entire staff (including the staff and friends of the team who are not in Portugal, who attended the event online) met up at the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP garage to give the leaving members the appreciation they deserve and present them with some parting gifts.
The Factory Yamaha MotoGP Team thanked Valentino and the departing team members for their hard work, professionalism, dedication, and passion. Their contribution and results will always remain a part of Yamaha‘s racing legacy.
Lin Jarvis – Mamaging Director Yamaha Motor Racing
“This is an emotional moment. It‘s always sad to bid farewell, especially to people who have been such a vital part of the team. But nothing in life is continuous, nothing remains the same, and that‘s also the nature of MotoGP. The situation in the paddock is constantly evolving. People come into the team, some leave, and some come back again. 2020 was Valentino‘s 15th season with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team. I have very vivid memories of those years. There have been highs and lows – it‘s been a roller-coaster ride, but his list with results on a Yamaha is seriously impressive: 4 MotoGP World Championship Titles, 255 Grand Prix races, 56 victories, 142 podiums. It‘s amazing how much he achieved during his time with us. In Valentino‘s case we are now facing what I would call ’a changing of the guard‘. Though he is leaving the Factory Yamaha MotoGP Team, this is not the end of his career. This is not a complete farewell scenario, this is a transition moment. It‘s important, regardless, because Valentino has been part of our team for so long. But next year he will be next door, so he will stay close. His factory-rider status continues, and he will continue riding a factory YZR-M1 with full support from Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. He will also be taking Crew Chief David, Data Engineer Matteo, and Rider Performance Analyst Idalio with him, so he will be surrounded by some familiar faces in the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT garage. Brent, Alex, and Javier will finish their long-term working collaboration with Yamaha. Their expertise, professionalism, and passion for the job is something that kept our team going for many years, so it‘s very sad to have to say goodbye to them. We wish them all the best for the future and hope to stay in touch.”
Valentino Rossi recently tested positive for COVID-19, which caused him to miss the Aragon Grand Prix. As of right now he’s fine and being monitored by doctors so that if his condition worsens, he can be well-taken-care-of by healthcare professionals.
Rossi expressed frustration. The Yamaha racing team performed well at the Aragon Grand Prix, and he was forced to miss it.
“Seeing Yamahas go fast is like twisting the knife in the wound,” he told GPOne.
As for his condition, it was reported that he started to feel bad on October 15. After it was determined that he was sore and had a fever, two tests were conducted by doctors. The first gave a negative result, the second gave a positive result, and he was not allowed to race.
Rossi was home in Italy after the Le Mans race, so he was not in contact with other riders and teammates. He did say it was a little different than he expected.
“I thought it was like the lockdown, but now I’m always alone without seeing anyone,” he said. “It’s quite boring. It’s a pain. Now I’m fine. I’m still a bit weak, but I no longer have a fever. I was sick for a day and a half, then I recovered.
It’s good to hear that he is doing well, and it is a shame he will have to miss more races while he is in quarantine.
That’s right. Our favorite rider has contracted COVID-19 making him the very first MotoGP rider to have the illness amidst the 2020 season. Moto2 competitor Jorge Martin also missed two races due to COVID-19 complications, but Valentino Rossi is the first full MotoGP racer to be struck with the illness.
After waking up and telling Yamaha staff he was “feeling a bit sore”, Rossi took the test yielding a positive result on the second try.
“Unfortunately, this morning I woke up and I was not feeling good. My bones were sore and I had a slight fever, so I immediately called the doctor who tested me twice. The quick PCR test result was negative, just like the test I underwent on Tuesday. But the second one, of which the result was sent to me at 16:00 this afternoon, was unfortunately positive“, said Rossi.
Currently sitting 10th in the MotoGP standings with 58 points and 1 podium you could consider this whole situation a win or a loss, depending on how you look at it. It would be tragic if Rossi was battling for a top 3 position and came down with the illness, but it’s also not ideal when currently every race counts when trying to claw out of the bottom 10.
It’s important for Rossi to be careful at this time as his two Yamaha teammates, Maverick Vinales (3rd in standings) and Fabio Quartararo (1st in standings) are currently fighting for title contention making it important that he self isolates so the virus does not spread to his teammate or the other Yamaha orbiter team.
“I am so disappointed that I will have to miss the race at Aragon, I’d like to be optimistic and confident, but I expect the second round in Aragon to be a ‘no go’ for me as well… I am sad and angry because I did my best to respect the protocol and although the test I had on Tuesday was negative“, said Rossi in regards to the situation.
We wish Valentino a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him on the track soon. Due to Rossi having great overall health, I wouldn’t be too worried and should expect ‘The Doc’ making a full recovery in no time.
It had been rumoured to have been pretty much a done deal for several months, but we’ve all been eagerly waiting for an official announcement over the future ride for the nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi.
Today and after six months of negotiating, finally PETRONAS Yamaha have announced that Valentino Rossi will be joining his prodigy Franco Morbidelli as teammates for 2021. Valentino Rossi needs no introduction as is considered by many to be the greatest rider of all time, after a record-breaking career in the sport.
Valentino Rossi has been competing in the premier class since 2000 and is the only rider in history to win 125, 250, 500 and MotoGP World Championships. In the premier class alone, Valentino Rossi can lay claim to seven world titles, 89 race wins, 199 podiums, 55 pole positions and 76 fastest laps. As part of PETRONAS Yamaha in 2021, Rossi will compete aboard a full factory backed Yamaha YZR-M1 for the ninth season in a row.
The move will see Rossi join the satellite team riding in what will be only their third season in the MotoGP category, after the Malaysian squad made their debut at the Qatar GP in 2019. That first season in the premier class saw PETRONAS Yamaha SRT rack up six pole positions and seven podiums, and win the Independent Teams’ Championship. This year has already seen three pole positions, four podiums and three race wins, and the lead of the outright Teams’ Championship, for the outfit.
I am very happy to continue riding in 2021 and to do it with the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. I thought a lot before taking this decision, because the challenge is getting hotter and hotter. To be at the top in MotoGP you have to work a lot and hard, to train every day and lead an ’athlete’s life‘, but I still like it and I still want to ride.
“In the first half of the year I made my choice and I talked with Yamaha, who agreed with me. They told me even if there was no place for me in the Factory Team, the factory bike and the factory support were guaranteed.
“I am very happy to move to PETRONAS Yamaha SRT. They are young, but they‘ve shown to be a top team. They are very serious and very well organised. For this year I also changed my crew chief. I‘m very happy with David, and I think we haven‘t reached our best yet. This was one of the reasons why I chose to continue, because the atmosphere in the team is something I like a lot.
“It‘ll be nice to have Franco as my team-mate, as he‘s an Academy rider, it‘s going to be cool. I think we can work together to make good things happen.
Lin Jarvis – Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing
We are delighted that Valentino will be staying in MotoGP for another year, and we are sure the fans of the sport feel the same way. A substantial part of the MotoGP fanbase will have grown up with Valentino and followed him throughout his career.
“This current and final season with the Factory Yamaha Team is his 25th in the motorcycle Grand Prix racing World Championship and his 15th year with Yamaha.
“Early on we assured Valentino that, should he stay in MotoGP for 2021, Yamaha would continue to give him full support and a Factory YZR-M1. In the end, this is exactly what he decided to do.
“I previously stated that this Covid-19 influenced MotoGP season would not be the appropriate year for such a legendary rider to close his career. Valentino has always been so popular with the fans all around the world, so it‘s great that he has decided to continue for at least another season. Hopefully the fans will be allowed back into the tracks next year to savour watching the GOAT in action again.
“I would like to thank the management of the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team for their enthusiasm and full collaboration to welcome Valentino into their team. They are still quite a ’young‘ team, but they are very professional and serious contenders for race wins and feature in the top of the championship standings, so we are sure that Valentino will feel comfortable and be able to perform at his best level.
Razlan Razali – Team Principal
On behalf of PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team and all its partners, it is an absolute honour to welcome Valentino Rossi – an iconic rider and legend into the team next year. His experience will be a great asset to the team as we move into our third season in MotoGP and we are sure we will be able to learn a lot from Valentino. At the same time, we will do our absolute best to assist him to be competitive to reward him for the trust he has in us as a team. We are humbled by this opportunity and ready to take on the challenge. We believe that the combination of Valentino and Franco will provide a truly formidable force
on track to help us in our goal of being as competitive as possible together next year. We can’t wait!
Johan Stigefelt – Team Director
To be able to sign a rider like Valentino Rossi, for what will be only our third year in the MotoGP championship, is amazing. We have evolved from a Moto3 team to a Moto2 team to a MotoGP team in a short time frame and now to be leading the MotoGP teams’ championship and signing one of the greatest riders the sport has ever known is incredible. It has been a long time since Valentino was in a satellite team and we will try our best to help him feel like new again. We want to make sure that he feels comfortable in our team, which we trust in and believe in so much. Our target is to get even better as a team, help Rossi
deliver the best results possible and make 2021 a memorable year.
Aprilia entered the World Championships in 1976 in the 125cc Motocross class and continued until 1981 without much success.
Valentino Rossi’s 1997 Aprilia R125 R
Valentino Rossi’s 1997 Aprilia R125 R
They then decided to switch to the Grand Prix side of things, commencing with the 250cc class, for 1985. You could say it was an excellent decision!
Valentino Rossi’s 1997 Aprilia R125 R
It wasn’t until 1985 that their first 125cc GP bike appeared and they gradually became more competitive over the years, with Fausto Gresini finishing fifth in the ’89 season.
Valentino Rossi’s 1997 Aprilia R125 R
Alessandro Gramigni went on to score their first race win in 1991 and their first title the following year. The company went on to win a total of 10 125cc titles and nine 250cc titles!
Valentino Rossi’s 1997 Aprilia R125 R
This is one of Valentino Rossi’s 1997 R125 R’s (the company’s 125s were referred to by a variety of names over the years) that he used to win his first World Championship, and was photographed in the Phillip Island Circuit Museum in 2018.
The MotoGP 2020 season is set to excite us once again in its latest season which starts in March. A total of 20 Grand Prix races will be held under the MotoGP calendar and riders and followers of the sport would be gearing up for the new season.
MotoGP action starts on 8 March 2020 at the Losail International Circuit. The season ends on 15 November at the Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo, Spain.
Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso are the usual suspects to finish near the top come the end of the season.
Marquez had surgery on his right shoulder in the off season and would be looking to get over the recent falls as soon as possible. Luckily, Marc managed to avoid any major injuries.
Fabio Quartararo to shine
Fabio Quartararo finished the Sepang MotoGP pre-season at the top. He recorded the fastest lap on each of the three days in the pre-season at the Sepang test circuit in Malaysia.
The Yamaha rider is one of the brightest talents in the sport and he even managed to record a best lap time of 1 minute, 58.349 seconds in his 17thlap. He managed to pull an impressive 57 laps on the track’s final day.
Jorge Lorenzo back in action
The former world champion Jorge Lorenzo is set to grace the MotoGP once again after Yamaha announced that Lorenzo would be their number one test driver in 2020.
The former world champion had announced his retirement just a couple of months ago and the news has come as a welcome surprise for his fans.
After a turbulent season with Honda, he had called it quits at the end of the 2019 season. He has spent nine seasons with Yamaha Motor Racing and would look to impress fans and rivals alike.
The Spaniard would look to add to his three world championship titles that he won with Yamaha. He last raced for Yamaha in Valencia 2017.
Lorenzo has a lot of fans all over the world and Valentino Rossi is one of them. Rossi has revealed that he forced Yamaha to bring back the former world champion Lorenzo back to Yamaha as a test rider.
The two have shared a cold relationship in the past but all seems forgotten as Rossi has stated that Lorenzo would be a perfect addition to the team.
* About the author’s: CharlotteHallam is a freelance writer specialising in topics such casino and sports betting. She’s 30 years old and lives in Manchester (UK).