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Apr 27, 2018

Yamaha VR46 Riders Academy Master Camp Announces Full Rider Lineup For July


Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. unveil Thai rider Keminth Kubo and Brazilian riders Eliton Kawakami and Bruno César as riders that will be joining the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp rider line-up for the fifth edition, held from July 27th - 31st.

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 27th April 2018

Following the announcement that American riders Cory Ventura and Jackson Blackmon have been selected to attend the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp to be held from July 27th – 31st, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is pleased to unveil the names of the final three participants, who complete the rider line-up. Brazilian riders Eliton Kawakami (aged 17) and Bruno César (aged 18), who are racing in their local R3 Cup, will also be traveling to Tavullia, Italy, for the fifth edition of the programme. There they will be joined by Thai rider Keminth Kubo (aged 18), who competes in the Asia Road Racing Championship‘s (ARRC) premier SuperSports 600 (SS600) class.

The Master Camp is a training programme run in cooperation with Valentino Rossi‘s VR46 Riders Academy to discover and develop young riding talent. Just as in previous editions, the new Master Camp riders will go through a week of training and learning in Italy at Rossi‘s Motor Ranch and the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. They will be under the guidance of various professional trainers and the VR46 Riders Academy‘s staff and riders, a number of whom are contesting in the Moto2 and Moto3 World Championships.

Yamaha began work in 2015 to establish the infrastructure for young prospects to step up through the ranks of motorcycle racing, in order to discover and nurture talented riders who can flourish on the world stage. The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp programme was created in 2016 as part of these efforts. The participants so far have been 23 mostly teenage riders who race in various championships with the YZF-R25 and YZF-R3, hailing from 12 countries in all: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Thailand and Ukraine.

Outstanding among them has been Thai rider Apiwath Wongthananon. He was selected to join the VR46 Master Camp Team in the CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship for the 2017 season and he is racing with the team again in 2018. Indonesian rider and fellow attendee Galang Hendra Pratama raced in the AP250 class of the Asia Road Racing Championship and made a wildcard appearance at the final round of the World Supersport 300 (WSSP300) series last year, taking a stunning win. For 2018, he is now contesting a full season in the class. In addition, Italian rider Alfonso Coppola, last season‘s WSSP300 runner-up, has made the step up to the World Supersport Championship. With examples like these, it is clear Yamaha‘s system of advancing young and promising riders is seeing results.


Nationality: American

Age: 16 (Born 2002)

Racing Career

2017: 2nd in MotoAmerica RC390 Cup


Nationality: American

Age: 16 (Born 2001)

Racing Career

2017: 4th in MotoAmerica RC390 Cup


Nationality: Brazil

Age: 17 (Born 2000)

Racing Career

2017: R3 Cup Champion

2016: SuperBike Brasil Champion


Nationality: Brazil

Age: 18 (Born 1999)

Racing Career

2017: 2nd in R3 Cup Pro and 2nd in 300 Sports


Nationality: Thai

Age: 18 (Born 1999)

Racing Career

2017: 17th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class

2016: Motegi Road Racing Championship ST600 Champion


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:

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP website:

Facebook: @YamahaVR46MasterCamp

Twitter: @TheMasterCamp

Instagram: @themastercamp

Youtube: @YamahaMotoGP

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