25 Riders, One Winner: The Inaugural Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European SuperFinale is Set for Portugal
Joining the FIM Superbike World Championship paddock this weekend is the first edition of the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European SuperFinale, which is set to offer 25 young riders the unique opportunity to earn a spot on next year’s Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup grid.
Featuring at the Portimao WorldSBK round this weekend and open to riders aged 14-20, the R3 SuperFinale will consist of two races each offering 25 points to the winner. By the end of the event, the overall winner will then earn a place in the 2023 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup, with support from Yamaha.
From there, they then have the chance to follow in the footsteps of the European Cup’s two winners, Iker Garcia Abella and Enzo Valentim, by competing for a supported ride in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship.
The inaugural R3 SuperFinale welcomes 25 riders from seven countries within Europe, as well as Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United States, making for a truly global event. Alongside this, four female youngsters will also line-up this weekend: 2021 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup racer Kayla Yaakov of the USA, Magny-Cours wildcard Justine Pedemonte (France), Misano wildcard Josephine Bruno (Italy), and Spanish talent Natalia Rivera Resel.
Several of the R3 SuperFinale contenders this weekend have also already tasted racing in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup this year, including Mohammed Abdalaziz Binladin from Saudi Arabia, and five of the six youngsters from the Italian R3 Cup: Emanuele Cazzaniga, Emiliano Ercolani, Emilano Rapanotti, Federico Iacoi, and Bruno.
Elsewhere, Kaywan Alves Freire Da Costa looks to become the latest of a host of Brazilian stars to take on the R3 Cup, while Teppei Kugawa aims to become Japan’s first representative in the European Championship. David Da Costa will be the ‘home favourite’ heading to the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, with Thurakij Buapa travelling more than 10,000 km from Thailand to take his shot at victory.
While Italy is represented by the most riders, Spain is represented by five, including Barcelona FIM Supersport 300 World Championship wildcard star Unai Calatayud Pascual. Four riders come from France, two from the Netherlands, and one from Germany and the United Kingdom.
Like the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup, the R3 SuperFinale riders will first get to grips with the Portuguese venue with a 30-minute Free Practice session on Friday, before qualifying gets underway later that day. The 25 riders will then have the opportunity to show their talents in front of the WorldSBK paddock with two races on Saturday.
Yamaha Motor Europe Marketing and Motorsport Director
“We are very pleased to see the fantastic amount of interest the first-ever Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European SuperFinale has generated. From a primarily European event, the concept has quickly evolved during the season thanks to the strong interest from many Yamaha entities around the world. We are now amazed to also welcome riders from countries like Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, including four young female riders planning to join us in Portimao for a truly diverse and global event. This will be a great experience for all of them, and the winner will have the very special opportunity to race in next year’s Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup with our support. It fits perfectly into Yamaha’s rider step-up program, as it gives a unique opportunity to riders to showcase their talents inside the WorldSBK paddock. We are sure that everyone will enjoy being a part of this inaugural R3 SuperFinale, and I wish the best of luck to everyone involved. A big thanks to our European and overseas distributors for their commitment to the bLU cRU program, as well as to all the people working behind the scenes to make this event possible.”