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The Next Generation of Yamaha bLU cRU Racers Prepare to Follow Their Dreams

Yamaha Motor Europe is pleased to announce the names of the six riders selected to contest the 2020 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge in WorldSSP300, as well as the winners of the YZ125, YZ85 and YZ65 bLU cRU FIM Europe Cups, following the successful conclusion of Yamaha’s 2019 Masterclass at Circuito de Alcarrás and the Bellpuig MX track in Spain.


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As a result of their positive attitudes and successful displays of speed, skill and determination, 16-year-old Latvian youngster, Mairis Pumpurs, has been selected as the winner of the YZ125 bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup, where he will join talented Dutch riders Kay Karssemakkers and Ivano van Erp on the MJC Yamaha EMX125 Official team.

13-year-old YZ85 rider Zoltan Ordog from Romania and 10-year-old YZ65 rider Freddie Bartlett from Sweden were identified by the judging panel as the two standout racers amongst an ultra-competitive field. Both will receive support from Yamaha Motor Europe in 2020, as the winners of the inaugural YZ85 and YZ65 bLU cRU FIM Europe Cups.

The level was equally high amongst the road racers at Circuito de Alcarrás, making the job of the judging panel extremely difficult. After much deliberation, six riders were selected to race in WorldSSP300 as part of the successful Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge initiative in 2020. 17-year-old Spanish rider Beatriz Neila returns for a second season with the bLU cRU, where she will be joined by fellow countryman and reigning Spanish Superbike Junior Champion, 15-year-old Unai Orradre. 18-year-old Sasha de Vis from Belgium, 15-year-old Alan Kroh from Germany and 17-year-old Italian Giacomo Mora also join the program, while the inclusion of 19-year-old Brazilian Tom Kawakami and 16-year-old Bahatin Sofuoglu from Turkey makes for a truly international bLU cRU line up in 2020.

Yamaha’s bLU cRU program is a unique system designed to identify, develop and nurture young talent from around the world. The project, which started for 125cc motocross riders in 2015 and expanded into road racing in 2017, before further developing in motocross to include 85cc and 65cc categories in 2019,  provides a clear path for young riders that can take them from their first steps on the world stage to the very pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport, all within Yamaha’s existing racing structure. To date, more than 1000 young riders have benefitted directly from involvement in Yamaha’s bLU cRU project.

The first hurdle the aspiring world champions have to overcome is the selection process that takes place during the annual bLU cRU Masterclass, which this year was held near Lleida, Spain, under the watchful eyes of Yamaha Motor Europe’s bLU cRU Racing Manager, Alberto Barozzi and Yamaha MX Coordinator, Thorsten Lentink. Assisting at the Bellpuig MX track were Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s duo of Jeremy Seewer and Gautier Paulin, former 250cc Motocross World Champion, Jacky Vimond and MJC Yamaha EMX125 Official Team Principal, Loïc Le Foll.

At the Alcarrás race circuit it was the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team rider Michael Van Der Mark, YART Yamaha EWC Official Team rider Niccolò Canepa, GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Team Manager Christophe Guyot and bLU cRU coach and former 125 Grand Prix rider Joey Litjens assisting with the selection process.

This year’s bLU cRU Masterclass provided 23 road racers and 13 motocross racers with an exclusive opportunity to compete, learn and ride together over three days of intense training. At the end of the three days, all of the riders saw improvements in their lap-times, while their confidence on the bike and in the paddock was at an all-time high. Yamaha Motor Europe looks forward to assisting all nine winners in 2020 as they continue to climb the Yamaha Racing pyramid with enhanced support. 

Registration for the 2020 YZ bLU cRU FIM Europe Cups are expected to open at the end of this week, so those young riders who aspire to be the world champions of the future should keep checking yamaha-racing.com.

Alberto Barozzi
Yamaha bLU cRU Racing Manager
“If one word were to be used to sum up the 2019 Yamaha Masterclass then that word would be awesome! The Masterclass is always a huge emotional experience, but this fourth edition was on another level. With more than 100 people involved, including 23 road racers and 13 MX riders, it was a real melting pot of nations, languages, cultures and, of course, talent. Every single rider there showed their skill and increased their knowledge during the event, where fundamental support was on offer from our bLU cRU Ambassadors; Jeremy, Gautier and Jacky in MX and Michael, Niccolò, Christophe and Joey on the road track. The progression was clear to see after two-days on track, which made the selection process extremely difficult for the Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Committee. But, after much deliberation, the winners of the YZ bLU cRU Cups and the six riders that will contest WorldSSP300 in 2020 were decided. I wish them all the best of luck as they chase their dreams with Yamaha during the 2020 season, but I would also like to commend every rider who took part in the Yamaha bLU cRU Masterclass on their skill, their commitment and their professionalism. I sincerely hope we’ll see some of them again next year. A special thank you to our Yamaha staff, the managers of both tracks and our hosts at the hotel, as they showed great commitment to make the 2019 Yamaha bLU cRUMasterclass a resounding success.”

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