“I’m excited to try everything this program offers. It’s all new to me. I’m also looking forward to meeting the VR46 riders, besides Valentino Rossi—especially Andrea Migno, Niccolo Antonelli, and Franco Morbidelli. I really like their riding styles and moves; it speaks to me the most when I watch them on television. I want to be like them.”
These were the kind words of McKinley Kyle Paz on his first day at the prestigious Yamaha VR46 Master Camp arranged by Rossi, nine-time grand prix world champion, at his training camp in Tavullia and other parts of Italy, including the Misano World Circuit Simoncelli in Rimini province. Obviously, Paz cannot hide his excitement.
The 18-year-old is among the five promising Yamaha riders handpicked for the program. Also included in the roster are Sawapol Nillapong, 16, and Suttipat Patchareetorn, 18, both from Thailand; Muhammad Alif Ashraf Bin Tahiruddin, 16, from Malaysia; and Jake LeClair, 18, from Canada. By the way, that’s Paz at the center of our main photo above.
Upon their arrival in Cattolica, Italy, on September 4, the riders were welcomed by Yamaha Motor Racing’s marketing and communications manager William Favero and the Master Camp staff, who supervised their fitting of complete riding gear. Check it out in the video below:
The five also underwent a medical checkup to ensure they’re physical fit to undergo the rigorous yet exciting rider training, which involves flat-track and circuit runs as well as jet-skiing sessions.
“The level of the Master Camp program has been raised every time we put on the event, since the start in 2016. We know from the previous series which activities and skills are the most beneficial to the riders and are easy to implement in their riding routines at home,” says VR46 Riders Academy director Alessio ‘Uccio’ Salucci.
“It will be hard work for them in the next five days because the road to success is not easy, but it will also be a lot of fun, and the VR46 riders and coaches are here to help the riders (trainees) wherever they can,” he adds.
At this point, we emphasize that these five young riders were handpicked by Yamaha and the VR46 training team for their great potential as motorcycle racers. They did not apply for the program.
Our very own Paz is currently leading the UB150 series of the 2019 Asia Road Racing Championship after five rounds. His UMA Racing Yamaha Philippines teammate, Masato Fernando, is in fourth position.
After he completes the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp training, would Paz be able to become a motorcycle-racing world champion in the near future?