Imagine you’re a talented junior racer and have been presented with a chance to learn race craft from Fernando Alonso. Or perhaps you’re a budding rally star and Sebastien Loeb offers to teach you how to drive a WRC car for a week. None of those scenarios is likely to happen anytime soon but for a few Yamaha riders in the Asia Production 250cc class of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), something even better could become a reality.
The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has announced they’ve just inked a three-year deal as official partner and motorcycle supplier to the Valentino Rossi VR46 Rider’s Academy, which is good news for budding Asian MotoGP stars. Riders who show potential in the Asia Production 250cc class this year could be spending up to two weeks at the famed Motor Ranch in Italy, training alongside the other VR46 Academy riders and being instructed by ‘The Doctor’ and his academy staff.
Two one-week workshops are planned for this year and those who make the cut will be riding dedicated Yamaha YZF-R3 bikes for road work and the YZ250F when riding on dirt tracks. Such a focussed week receiving instruction from arguably the greatest MotoGP rider of all time will be an unforgettable experience for those who make it, and the great man himself is looking forward to it.
“The partnership between Yamaha and VR46 makes me very happy and incredibly proud. Through the Academy we have been doing very interesting things for young and talented riders and I believe we couldn’t have found a better partner than Yamaha to provide our guys everything they need to grow up quickly and improve their performances on track. I am particularly happy because this agreement involves two things that I love and have put lots of efforts in; Yamaha and my Riders Academy. I really hope that this partnership will result in some great things.
We have been supporting talented riders and I am confident together we will achieve exciting results. We are planning many activities involving the Academy and its riders. Yamaha is making many of these initiatives possible and I want to thank them for this chance. I am also looking forward to meeting the riders who’ll attend the training session throughout 2016. I am sure they’ll enjoy the time at the Academy and that we’ll have a lot of fun together. Maybe we’ll find new racing talents!” said Rossi.
Aside from announcing their partnership with the VR46 Rider’s Academy, Yamaha has also announced their participation as an official factory team in the SuperSports 600cc class of the ARRC. The Yamaha Factory Racing team will campaign a pair of YZF-R6 machines ridden by 24-year old Japanese star Yuki Ito and Malaysian up-and-comer Mohd Fitri Ashraf Razali.
Once upon a time at the ranch, when they were still friends…