In a thrilling conclusion to this year’s 2023 YZ bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup, Yamaha Motor Europe hosted its two-day Masterclass at the picturesque MC des Costieres circuit in Beauvoisin, France earlier this week. Sixteen young riders from 10 different countries capitalized on the exclusive opportunity to train with motocross legends Gautier Paulin, Nancy van de Ven, and Brian Jorgensen, while vying for the ultimate prize of winning support from Yamaha Motor Europe for their upcoming 2024 racing seasons.
The 2023 YZ Cup finalists, a dynamic group of riders aged 8 to 16, earned their invitations through their standout performances at the 2023 bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup SuperFinale. From the SuperFinale, the top three finishers in each category, along with two wildcards and the best placed female riders in each class were selected to attend the Masterclass. The riders that were invited to participate this year were Giorgio Orlando, Noe Zumstein, Jekabs Kubulins, Maho Simo, and Nellie Fransson in the YZ125 category. Storm Maymann, Davi Dür, Bertram Thorius, Tylan Lagain and Ryan Lustenberger and Elin Rosthen in the YZ85 category, and Willads Gordon, Maurice Heidegger, Jan Huisman, Leo Gajser, and Maria Gandum in the YZ65 class.
This year’s Masterclass underscored Yamaha’s commitment to supporting female riders. Collaborating with former Women’s Motocross World Champion Nancy van de Ven, Yamaha created a fun, inclusive and supportive environment for the young riders. Van de Ven’s presence at the bLU cRU Masterclass provided the riders with a role model, mentor, and source of inspiration. Her achievements and expertise contributed to the overall learning experience and will help shape the future of motocross by empowering the next generation of riders, both male and female.
The warm-up regimen included dynamic exercises designed to elevate heart rates, increase blood flow to muscles, and activate key muscle groups essential for motocross. This proactive approach not only primes the body for optimal performance but also aids in mental focus, ensuring that riders are sharp and responsive on the track.
Throughout the two-day event, young riders received expert guidance on bike set-up, body positioning, and fundamental skills essential to improve confidence, safety, and control on the bike.
The Masterclass is also used as an opportunity for the bLU cRU Ambassadors and Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Committee members to evaluate riders holistically. They are looking for qualities beyond talent, such as a positive attitude, adaptability, determination, and a strong willingness to learn.
As the winner of the YZ125 bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup will receive the coveted prize of a place on a Yamaha Motor Europe supported team, where they will race the full EMX125 series aboard a GYTR kitted YZ125, the bLU cRU Ambassadors put them up against each other in a staggered start “race simulation”. The staggered start added an extra layer of excitement and strategy to the race simulation, as each rider had to navigate through the pack, showcasing not only their speed but also their ability to make strategic moves and tactical decisions on the track.
The “race simulator” initiative was extended to the YZ85 and YZ65 classes this year, providing the coaches with valuable insights into how the young riders handle the pressures of racing and where they can improve. It will also encourage a seamless transition for the youngsters as they progress through different stages of their budding motocross careers.
And in terms of the prize for the younger riders; the selected winners, will receive additional support and GYTR parts from Yamaha Motor Europe for the following season. As the dust settles on the 2023 racing season, the real challenge begins for the bLU cRU ambassadors and the Yamaha Racing committee. With all 16 riders exhibiting exceptional speed, skill, and determination, the task of selecting the winners promises to be an incredible challenge. However, all the of the riders that made it to the SuperFinale, and then on to the Masterclass can be extremely proud of what they have achieved in 2023! The winners will be announced on Friday 24th November at 16:00 (CET).