Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), has announced that two U.S. road racers will be attending this year’s Yamaha VR46 Master Camp that will take place in Tavullia, Italy, in July. 16-year-old Jackson Blackmon and 15-year-old Cory Ventura, both Graves/Yamaha-supported YZF-R3 riders in the 2018 MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship, will make the trip to receive specialized training from Movistar Yamaha MotoGP racing legend Valentino Rossi, as well as other racing experts.
Jackson and Cory will be accompanied on the trip by Yamaha Factory Racing Ambassador and bLU cRU Rider Coach Josh Hayes.
Held at the VR46 Motor Ranch in Tavullia, which is also Valentino Rossi’s home base, the Master Camp will take place in conjunction with the VR46 Riders Academy. Students will receive a variety of training that ranges from classroom lecture, to physical fitness, to specialized riding instruction on both pavement and dirt.
The training is designed to boost the Master Camp students’ riding skills, bike control, and choice of race line (aboard Yamaha R3s and YZ250Fs, as well as MiniGP bikes and go-karts), along with technical knowledge and motivation to give them the edge in competition.
First begun in 2016, the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp has already hosted 18 riders from 12 different countries around the world. Students from the Camp have gone on to apply their skills in the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship and the FIM World Supersport 300 class.
Keith McCarty – Motorsports Racing Division Manager for YMUS
“This is an amazing opportunity for Jackson and Cory, and all of us at Yamaha are thrilled that they were selected to participate in the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp. Jackson and Cory are two of our best and brightest Yamaha bLU cRU road racers, and the Master Camp will serve them well not only now but as their racing careers progress.”
Josh Hayes – Yamaha Factory Racing Ambassador/Yamaha bLU cRU Rider Coach
“I’m excited to be making the trip to Italy with Jackson and Cory, and to be part of their learning experience. The skills they develop during the camp will no-doubt help with their ability to ride a motorcycle faster while continually strategizing during their races.”
Jackson Blackmon – Graves/Yamaha-supported R3, #18
“I’m so thankful and excited for this opportunity to go to the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp! I cannot thank Yamaha enough for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Rossi’s ranch and learn from one of the sport’s greatest-ever riders. This will be a trip I will never forget.”
Cory Ventura – Graves/Yamaha-supported R3, #64
“I’m very excited and fortunate to have been given the opportunity to travel to Italy and to the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp with four-time Superbike Champion Josh Hayes and my Graves/Yamaha-supported teammate Jackson Blackmon! It has always been a dream of mine to be able to go and do something like this. I can’t wait!”
The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp
In an effort to support young Italian riders aiming to become world-class racers, Valentino Rossi decided to put his vast experience and knowledge from his many years of racing to good use in 2014 and established the VR46 Riders Academy.
In March 2016 Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. entered into a formal three-year partnership agreement with the VR46 Riders Academy as an Official Partner and also as its Official Motorcycle Supplier.
In July of 2016 Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and the VR46 Riders Academy staged the inaugural Yamaha VR46 Master Camp with the goal of helping selected young Yamaha talent make their way in the racing world by increasing their skills and experience.
A place in the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp can’t be bought, nor can riders apply for a placement – riders are put forward by Yamaha only.
Yamaha is currently in the process of creating a step-up model and system to provide tier-based opportunities for young riders to further develop their careers.
News, images and updates from the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp will be posted regularly on its dedicated media channels throughout the fifth edition: