The 2022 YZF-R7 broke cover earlier this week, and it looks to be a very good middleweight streetbike for consumers. Here at MotoAmerica, of course, our interest is focused on if and when the motorcycle will be eligible to compete in the Twins Cup class.
Derived from the FZ-07/MT-07 platform, which has already had a lot of success Twins Cup, the new Yamaha R7 is a full-fairing “supersport” version of the standard “naked” MT-07, with upgrades that include fully adjustable 41mm inverted front forks, a redesigned link-type Monocross rear suspension system, a slipper clutch, and an electronic quickshifter, which are all beneficial for road racing.
So, when will the R7 make its debut in the MotoAmerica Championship? “Sometime this season” is the plan. In fact, MotoAmerica Technical Director Tige Daane is currently working with Tom Halverson, Assistant Deptartment Manager of Racing for Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), to homologate the bike for Twins Cup competition.
We talked with Jackson Blackmon, who is debuting his #18 Jackson Blackmon Racing FZ-07/MT-07-based motorcycle in Twins Cup this weekend at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) for round two of the MotoAmerica season, and he is looking forward to racing the new R7 as soon as it becomes available for competition. “Man, the all-new R7 looks to be a real weapon,” Blackmon said. “I love the MT-07 and seeing Yamaha take that base and turn it into a full-blown race bike with the R7 is amazing. I can’t wait to ride one soon and see how well it performs on track.
Blackmon, who was selected to be a participant in Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha VR46 Master Camp in Tavullia, Italy, back in 2018 when he was 16 years old, has had longstanding ties with YMUS. He is expected to be among the first riders to race the R7 in MotoAmerica Twins Cup competition later this year.
Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.
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