August 9, 2019 (Toronto, ON) - Yamaha Motor Canada is pleased to announce that Canadian amateur racer Jake LeClair has been selected to attend the 8th edition of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, based out of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Motor Ranch in Tavullia, Italy this coming September.
The VR46 Master Camp is designed to give young Yamaha stars a boost by enhancing their riding skills and professionalism, enabling them to make the next step in their racing careers.
“There really are no words to describe this opportunity,” said LeClair, who received the news via Tomas Casas, current top bLU cRU athlete and previous Master Camp attendee. “There is only one VR46 Camp, and I am going!”
LeClair, 18, became Yamaha’s first-ever bLU cRU Factory Ride Award winner in the discipline of road racing in 2018. He was the inaugural champion in the Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike category of the Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) that same year, and currently sits second in CSBK Amateur Sport Bike on his Yamaha YZF-R6 – an impressive feat in his first year on 600-class machinery.
The Blackstock, ON teenager becomes just the second Canadian invited to the VR46 Master Camp after Casas in early 2017. Since attending, Casas has won two consecutive CSBK Pro Sport Bike titles and is Yamaha’s flagship Canadian Superbike racer.
“With all that Tomas has accomplished since being at the camp, I feel privileged and honoured to have this opportunity,” beamed LeClair. “I have watched numerous videos online and know only a select few get chosen from around the world to go. VR46 is all about success, so what better place to learn than at Valentino Rossi's personal facility!”
LeClair and a handful of other young Yamaha riders from around the world will spend the week training with VR46 Riding Academy instructors on riding technique, bike control, balance, fitness, technical skills, presentation and more.
You can follow Jake’s progress during September’s VR46 Master Camp on Yamaha Motor Canada’s Instagram (@yamahamotorcanada) and Twitter (@YamahaMotorCa) accounts.
Friday, 09 August 2019 12:28 Published in News
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales showed great stamina and character in today’s sweltering Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, riding back from a provisional 12th to take sixth place at the chequered flag. Valentino Rossi was fortunately unharmed but unable to continue after an unlucky fall on lap 7.
Starting from P7, Viñales lost a few positions in the tussle of entering the first corner and settled in twelfth position. After a few laps he gained two places and tucked in behind fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, hoping to join the rider group of nine in front.
With relentless focus he reeled them in and tapped them on the back lying in ninth place when Francesco Bagnaia crashed out with 11 laps to go. But soon the group was pulled apart again. The Spaniard, however, used his experience and kept his head cool. Like he predicted yesterday, he managed the tyres and used his great physical fitness to bring a strong challenge to the riders ahead of him in the final stages.
With eight laps to go he gained a place as Jack Miller ended up in the gravel, which was the no.12 rider's cue to start his late charge. Over the next two laps he overtook Quartararo and Crutchlow, moving up to sixth place. With an over 1s-gap to the rival in front of him, the Yamaha man pushed to the max but was unable to inch close enough. He finished sixth, 7.481s from first.
Rossi had a decent start from P18 and, despite the flurry of activity in the busy rider field, gained two positions before crossing the line for the first time. The home hero began his chase, showing good pace, but with 19 laps to go he had to do the work all over again. Having taken 15th from Jorge Lorenzo, he was in the groove but clipped the rear of Joan Mir going into Turn 4 and had to skillfully steer his YZR-M1 through the gravel trap. He rejoined the track in 22nd place.
The Doctor soon moved up a position again as a rival crashed out, but it wasn't to last. Bad luck struck twice when he restarted his hunt. He suffered a crash in Turn 9 with 16 laps to go and was unable to continue his home GP.
Today's unlucky 0-point finish pushed Rossi down to fifth position in the championship standings, with a 43-point gap to first. Viñales’ sixth place result moves him up from tenth to eighth in the rankings, with a 75-point margin to the top. Yamaha is now fourth in the constructor standings, whilst Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP continues to hold third in the team classification.
The team will be back on the track in two weeks’ time for the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Monday, 03 June 2019 10:23 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti tightened the screws on the competition to grab the win in the 450 Pro main this past Saturday night at Round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown AX Tour in Calgary, AB. His teammate Shawn Maffenbeier managed to bring home a top-five finish, claiming a noteworthy fourth at the finish line. Although Nicoletti and Maffenbeier seemed a bit tentative in the qualifiers – recording fourth and sixth respectively – they unleashed the power of their YZ450Fs when it came down to do some serious racing for points.
Nicoletti and Maffenbeier found themselves gating in the same heat race at Calgary’s Agrium Event Center. The teammates unfortunately came together in the second corner right after the start when Maffenbeier bumped Nicoletti’s back wheel, with Maffenbeier going down for a soil sample. Nicoletti managed to stay afloat and would greet the checkered flag in second place and with it a berth in the Clash for Cash. Maffenbeier, who ended up third, did not advance to the Clash.
In the Clash, Nicolleti had to settle for an outside gate pick. Anxious for a frontrunner start, he found himself spinning out of the gate instead. This left him trailing slightly behind the pack, going into the first corner. The New Yorker then proceeded to ride a few laps in sixth place before moving into fourth, where he finished.
Not about to make the same error twice, an on-fire Nicoletti blew out of the gate in the main to take the holeshot in front of the usual suspects, which included Cole Thompson and Matt Goerke. Not wasting any time, he poured on the gas, putting a bit of real estate between himself and the chase group. Thompson managed to close the gap a few times but Nicoletti wouldn’t have any of it. He pushed ahead and never let Canada’s undisputed indoor specialist, Thompson, install himself in a position to attempt a pass. Nicoletti stayed the course and when all was said and done, he garnered his first win on Canadian soil. Nicoletti’s victory was extra sweet, as it took him from fourth place in the points to third.
Maffenbeier, who started just outside the top five, made a pass about seven laps into the race for fourth. At one point Goerke, running in third place behind Thompson, made an error and went down. This gave Maffenbeier an opportunity to close the gap, almost getting past the multi-time motocross champ, but Goerke was up and running in no time and “Maff” had to settle for fourth at the finish line. Although it wasn’t the finish he was looking for, the Swift Current, SK native can look back on Calgary as a great improvement from his ninth place finish in Abbotsford the previous weekend. It also means he moved ahead in the points from ninth to sixth.
“The night started off decently enough, although I struggled with my starts early on. I executed the main event start well, though, and was able to keep the lead on my Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha YZ450F without working up too much of a sweat. The bike was simply awesome and dialed in to make me really comfortable, not to mention very competitive. I’m happy to get my first Canadian win and looking forward to more,” Nicoletti said.
“We came into the weekend hoping to better our results from Abbotsford. That was goal number one and we achieved that. The day didn’t start the best but we made some changes and when the gate dropped for the main, Phil just grabbed the holeshot and then ran his own race, coming out with the win,” Nicoletti’s mechanic Risi George noted.
Round 2 – 450 Arenacross Results
1. Phil Nicoletti (Yam)
2. Cole Thompson (KTM)
3. Matt Goerke (Kaw)
4. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam)
5. Collin Jurin (Kaw)
6. Cade Clason (Husq)
7. Nick Schmidt (Hon)
8. Blake Osatchuck (Husq)
Points After 2 of 4 Rounds
1. Cole Thompson 65 pts
2. Matt Goerke 61
3. Phil Nicoletti 58
4. Collin Jurin 49
5. Cade Clason 41
6. Shawn Maffenbeier 40
7. Nick Schmidt 38
8. Blake Osatchuck 34
9. Ryder Floyd 20
10. Brock Leitner 18
The Rockstar Triple Crown AX Tour continues for Round 3, after a one-weekend break in the schedule on April 27, at the Progressive Auto Center in Sarnia, ON.
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:02 Published in Rider and Team Releases
December 27, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Canadian amateur racer Jacob Rainville made history recently by becoming the first rider to win a Yamaha bLU cRU Factory Ride Award in the discipline of flat track.
“It’s a great honour to win this award,” said Rainville, 16. “I’ve been riding Yamahas since I was five. My first flat track bike was a PW50. This is like a dream come true.”
Rainville earned the prestigious accolade by accumulating the most points by a Yamaha rider in the Flat Track Canada Novice DTX class in 2018. The Welland, ON native will receive a brand-new Yamaha YZ motorcycle to race for the 2019 season and a $2,500 Yamaha parts credit to be redeemed through the Yamaha dealer network for parts, accessories, power equipment, Yamalube and more. A custom bLU cRU graphics kit is also included.
Rainville is excited for the opportunity to be one of the first flat track racers in North America to race the new 2019 YZ450F, which features Yamaha’s exclusive Power Tuner app. This technology will allow Rainville to tune the motorcycle’s performance via his smartphone based on track conditions.
Moving up to the Intermediate ranks in 2019, Rainville looks to build on a successful year that included a win and three podium appearances at the Novice level.
“The technology and performance of the new YZ450F should help me achieve my goals of being out front, winning some races and having fun in 2019,” Rainville noted. “I would like to thank Yamaha Motor Canada for this amazing opportunity.”
Rainville joins MX racers Jeremy McKie and Jake Tricco, as well as Jake LeClair (road racing) as bLU cRU Factory Ride Award winners in 2018.
Thursday, 27 December 2018 13:34 Published in Rider and Team Releases
WorldSBK riders take to the track with fastest man on four wheels.
Monday, 03 December 2018 16:54 Published in News
After a lengthy wait, due to a monsoon rain shower that hit the Sepang International Circuit directly at the end of FP4, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates were happy to get underway in qualifying. With no prior track time in wet conditions, they had to judge the limit to perfection in the 15-minute shoot-out. Valentino Rossi used his experience to put in a late charge to secure third position on the grid. Although Maverick Viñales made steady progress throughout the session, he will start tomorrow's race from eleventh place.
Rossi opened his qualifying challenge with a 2'13.917s, for a provisional fourth place, but soon found himself in seventh position as the pace picked up. He didn't improve on his next two tries and returned to the pits with slightly more than four minutes remaining.
A lightning fast stop later, the Doctor resumed his time-attack. He was able to put in one more hot lap, and he made it count. He had dropped down to eighth place, but made a brilliant comeback on his final try, shooting up to second with a 2'13.009s, 0.848s from first. Though he was pushed back to third position after the chequered flag went out, he still looks forward to starting tomorrow's race from the first row.
Viñales was thankfully OK after he got caught out at the end of FP4 by the sudden rain, but due to the incident he needed a couple of laps to get back into the groove in Q2. He was on a no-stop strategy, allowing him to use the available track time to the fullest. He held tenth place for the first half and consistently topped his personal best time on his final three attempts, as his feeling improved. However, he wasn't able to make progress in terms of grid position. He ended the session in eleventh place, with a 2’14.856s fastest lap, 2.695s from pole.
Pole sitter Marc Márquez was later penalised by Race Direction, following an incident in Q2 involving Andrea Iannone. He was demoted to seventh position, meaning Rossi moves up to second place on the grid.
Tomorrow’s time schedule has been amended to prevent similar delays as the MotoGP field experienced today due to weather and track conditions. MotoGP’s Warm Up will be held from 08:40 – 09:00 (local track time: GMT+8) and the race will get underway at 13:00.
Saturday, 03 November 2018 12:19 Published in Rider and Team Releases
May 5, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – Six young Yamaha stars are about to embark on an exciting chapter in their racing career at the third edition of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp.
Friday, 05 May 2017 12:44 Published in News
(March 13, 2017)- Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed his royal flush of incredible preseason form by the end of the #QatarTest, taking to the top once again on the final day of testing ahead of lights out for the GP weekend.
Monday, 13 March 2017 12:35 Published in Reports, Results & Points