Unveiling its racing future as part of the global press conference on Tuesday 7th February, Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. introduced the next generation of up-and-coming short circuit riders who will take on the R3 bLU cRU Challenge for 2017.
Held at Yamaha Motor Racing’s European headquarters, at Lesmo in Italy, six young riders, aged 15-19, were presented to an international audience as ambassadors for Yamaha Motor Europe’s bLU cRU programme within the Road Racing project. Featuring a strong mix of home nations, from Finland, Ukraine, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Brazil, the riders chosen have all shown the promise of speed, talent, and commitment for the racing craft in their career to date alongside the passion and dedication to improve under the bLU cRU banner as the season develops.
Contesting the newly-introduced FIM Supersport 300 World Championship, within a 35-strong line up, Robert Schotman and Enzo De La Vega – GRT Racing Team; Kimi Patova and Renzo Ferreira – Kallio Race System; Mykyta Kalinin – Team Motoxracing and Alfonso Coppola – SK Racing, will traverse the nine round series aboard Yamaha’s agile and competitive YZF-R3. Two of the bLU cRU challengers have previous experience within the WorldSBK paddock – Coppola contested the European Junior Cup for the past two seasons, securing two second place podiums and a fastest lap, while Ferreira enjoyed a wildcard in the series’ 2015 outing at Magny-Cours. Schotman, Kalinin and De La Vega are champions at national level ready for the step onto the world stage, while Patova, the youngest competitor at just 15, harnesses an exciting level of talent in such a youthful competitor that his Kallio team are confident of his abilities and prospects.
2017’s launch of the R3 bLU cRU Challenge will create a real racing path for Yamaha’s future road racing talent. All riders involved will receive a special kit package to assist in building their race-ready YZF-R3’s and race service assistance throughout the season – focusing both on technical and off-track sporting aspects. While competing in the overall WorldSSP300 class, the R3 bLU cRU riders will also compete against themselves, with the winner awarded an invitation to a training camp Masterclass at the end of the season. The victor will also be granted promotion to a Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team for 2018 as they look to compete in the FIM Europe Supersport Cup, concluding an intensive season with the ultimate goal of progression and success.
20 competitors in total have chosen to race WorldSSP300 on Yamaha machinery, already proving the YZF-R3 is truly the one to watch in 2017. However, the bLU cRU aim is to take it all the way to the top, challenging to take victory in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship for its debut year. The opening race is scheduled for Sunday 2nd April at Spain’s Motorland Aragón Circuit.