Sport – MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! – Used YAMAHA

MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha forms its camp well !

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

Under the impetus of Yamaha Motor France, around thirty young speed and motocross riders, aged 11 to 16, were invited to undergo intensive training at the Pôle Mecanique d’Alès (30) under the leadership of the tenors of builder in each discipline. MNC was on hand to follow these future ultra-motivated champions during this first edition of Blu Cru Camp. Reportage.

On the evening of the second day of, Alexandre Kowalski took advantage of the relaxing evening organized at the bowling alley in Alès (30) to talk as an aside with Maxime Grau, injured in his arm during his last motocross race a few days before this unprecedented training organized by the French subsidiary…

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"The injury is unfortunately part of high level competition," reminds him the competition director of Yamaha Motor France. "You must now move forward to leave this ordeal behind you and keep the rest throughout your convalescence to get back on your bike in great shape. Above all, don’t make the mistake of wanting to rush your return, at the risk of aggravating your situation and undermine your morale ", he continues with sympathy … and a touch of firmness.

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

In front of him, the pilot is resigned but drinks these words carefully, aware that they are essential to manage the rest of his career … This scene, which MNC has already attended on several occasions, this time presents a "small "particularity: the pilot (above top right) is barely 12 years old, which does not prevent him from having the attitude of a real pro !

At the age when most of his friends spend their free time with video games, a game of ball or a hand spinner, Maxime Grau, he successfully races in the French 85 cc Espoirs motocross championship in Team 2B. Small but very invigorating, this little prodigy already expresses a remarkable potential coupled with a staggering attack: "it’s a plane, its potential is enormous!", Alexandre Kowalski confides to us with undisguised admiration..

Premier Blu Cru European Camp

For now, Maxime is annoyed and in his blue eyes can be read all the frustration of being forced to observe the 28 other selected trackers and crossmen while they go through theoretical and practical workshops to professionalize their approach to competition. Without any downtime: despite the youth of the participants and temperatures exceeding 35 ° C, the four training days are loaded with activities scheduled from 7:30 am for a return to the campsite around 11:00 pm … Intense !

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

On the program of this course, unique in Europe (a less developed version of the Blu Cru Camp exists in the United States): improvement on the circuit – on dirt or asphalt – of course, but also workshops to raise awareness among these future champions of importance of physical and mental preparation, diet or communication (social networks, oral expression, report to the press). 

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Thus, the Yamaha staff insists on the care to be taken in the presentation of the rider’s equipment and its structure during the races: "hang your suits properly near your motorcycles and do not leave anything lying around between each session to enhance your image ", specifies for example Mathias Grenguet, in charge of marketing in the competition service of Yamaha France. 

The next generation formed by the current elite

To better lead these apprentice champions, Yamaha cracks in speed and off-road are responsible for providing them with valuable advice to help them progress, but also to avoid mistakes. Christophe Guyot is also part of the speed workshops: the manager of GMT94 is an excellent trainer, calmly and precisely refining the trajectories and the position of each. His decided tone is unmistakable, while his teaching skills do justice to his past as a former teacher. !

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

Alternately, endurance pilots Mike di Meglio, David Checa and Niccolo Canepa (GMT94), Louis Bulle (French Supersport championship) and Lucas Mahias (Superpsort world championship) also take to the track with the speed pilots (venus French Promosport 125 and 300 cups, for the most part). Younger people participate in the event on their own YZF125 while those aged 12 and older ride their R3.

In all-terrain, it’s Benoît Paturel (3rd in MX2 in 2016), Arnaud Tonus (9th in AMA in 2016) or even the northerner Adrien Van Beveren, triple winner of the Enduro du Touquet and 4th of the Dakar 2017, who coach kids on and off the cross country court. As in speed, each student is focused on his task and the atmosphere is studious: some take notes so as not to forget anything and the relevance of the questions asked reveals that the Yamaha speakers have the students’ full attention. !

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

"No doubt they will not all finish high-level pilots, but whatever path they decide to take, they will benefit from this training", underlines Loïc Voilliot, director of the Alès mechanical center where it is located. this first Blu Cru Camp is taking place. The reasons for choosing the Cevennes complex? Its versatility: its speed track, technical and recently resurfaced, is flexible to the desire and adjoins a karting circuit on which it is possible to work on technical aspects. In addition, its infrastructures promote a neat reception.

On the other hand, a cross-country circuit is located about 5 km from the Alès circuit, which allows Yamaha to make its speed and cross-country pilots work in a restricted radius. Finally, the region’s pronounced reliefs and its mild weather make it easier to set up outdoor activities intended to "sharpen" the kids: impossible, for example, to provide such a varied Blu Cru Camp on the Ile-de-France circuit of Carole (93 ) !

Going to be sport !

As for the preparation of pro "adult" riders, physical training has an important place in the schedule: Yamaha has planned mountain biking in the morning when you wake up before the first workshops of the day, then brisk walking or a obstacle course after dinner! Add to that studious sessions of driving on the circuit interspersed with "short track" sessions on an improvised clay circuit on the neighboring heights, and you get very busy days despite relaxing evenings at the bowling or on a sports base. nautical !

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

The competitive spirit, rigor and surpassing oneself: these values ​​conveyed by sport are dear to the French subsidiary. Most of the people at Yamaha involved in the Blu Cru Camp project are accomplished sportsmen, like Alexandre Kowalski who has several marathons and other Iron Man to his list, or Laurent Benchana from the communication department of Yamaha France, who practices triathlon. 

In this, – the former head of Yamaha France who died in a car accident – still seems to hover over the French subsidiary: sport and competition held an important place in the eyes of JCO, and this attachment to racing is precisely at the heart of the Blu Cru Camp.

"We are the first to set up this project: it is a long-term investment decided and financially assumed by Yamaha Motor France, in the hope that the formula will seduce and spread to other European subsidiaries", explains Alexandre Kowalski without leaving eyes participants.

Blue in the eyes

Because the boss of the Yamaha Motor France competition department is on the lookout for young talents: in addition to its "learning" dimension, the Blu Cru Camp also has an obvious "detection" function. With the aim of identifying the talents of tomorrow and quickly retaining them in the blue brand! Like, for example, the Nice Enzo de la Vega, who participates this year in the Supersport 300 cc world championship, this new competition contested on the sidelines of the World Superbike (WSBK). 

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Winner in Promosport on an R3 in 2016, the young man of 17 is now supported by Yamaha in WSSP300: "he is an ambassador for our industry, an example for the youngest present today", rejoices Alexandre Kowalski. Asked by MNC, Enzo admits that the level is damn high in the world !

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

"So far, I have only scored one point because I crashed and then experienced mechanical problems. And, above all, the competition is much more fierce than in the French championship: the field is more aggressive and the higher and homogeneous level ", specifies the young man (above on his motorbike), who smiles while saying" that there are no more friends in the paddock, whereas in France we are all enough welded ".

Beside, a bit impressed by his rise, all listen to this concrete feedback by dreaming of an international career … MNC takes a moment of pause to discuss with Louis Lagrive, son of driver Matthieu Lagrive, who comes to the Blu Cru Camp to find the keys to improve: "this is my first year in the 125 cup and I signed a podium at Ledenon and Alès. Next year, I am aiming for the title ", confides this young boy of 12 years, as fast on his motorbike as discreet and applied on the outside (below top left).

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

"I’m happy because I was able to work on my position, the lines and the technique, all for quite a long time," he told us on the last day. "These are aspects that it is often difficult to fine-tune during the season because the running is counted during the practice sessions".

In the box next door, the friendly twins Mathias and Romeo Michaud, 12, check every detail of their bike (above top right), as does Lucien Vaudry. At 14 years old, this Norman pilot is in 5th place in the Promosport 125 on the handlebars of a YZF125 4-stroke on which he is struggling to fit his 1.80 m! Intelligent, Lucien also puts "gas" in school, aware of the ephemeral and fragile nature of a career as a motorcycle rider: "I am in second with 13.5 average and I want to do a bac S", explains us with wisdom Lucien (below bottom right) who aims the Promosport in R3, then why not the world.

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

His reasoned approach, worthy of a true pro, also involves his wise management of financial partners: "racing is expensive, this season it was necessary to raise € 15,000 for the 125 Cup, not counting the purchase of the motorcycle. are sacrifices for the family. Fortunately, we have managed to find several sponsors this year for amounts ranging from 50 to 3000 euros ", he explains. A constructed and lucid speech, again worthy of a great !

Tall, Robin Hossey (below) is certainly not: at almost 12 years old, this blond with blue eyes weighs 35 kg all wet on the scale! And yet, you have to see him handling his motorcycle with expertise, with his knee on the ground and his chest out to better register his Yam ‘in the curve. Fast, "Rob’1" takes advantage of the Blu Cru Camp to learn but also to discover the R3, which he is not yet old enough to drive … no more than the physique: it is barely if he touches a toe while stationary, and again by shifting his buttocks as far as possible on the edge !

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

MNC comes to his rescue and immobilizes his motorcycle on the workshop stand: "I find this 300 cc better", he reveals to us with a dazzling smile. "It is placed more on the angle, more stable than my 125, and that helps me because I am very light. In this way, the traction is better when exiting curves", explains this child – because yes, it is is one! – by using vocabulary specific to experienced pilots. Such sensitivity to differences in behavior, coupled with an assuredly mastered technique, are bluffing at his age. !

Blu Cru Camp 2017 review: Yamaha plays in the right camp !

The four days go by quickly and already the final straight line of this first Blu Cru Camp is looming … The participants are getting ready to take the handlebars one last time after a relaxed evening spent familiarizing themselves with wakeboarding (a water sport practiced on a board) then to run in the woods in a fun obstacle course concocted by Loïc Voilliot and his team! Yamaha had not forgotten during its training the notion of pleasure, an essential factor to maintain passion…

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

"Fun is important in our sport," recalls Lucas Mahias. "You have to keep this pleasure of riding, especially at your age and at your level where the stakes are not yet very high. If Valentino Rossi is still at the top at 38, it is because he still has this notion of pleasure riding a motorcycle ", assures the current leader of the Supersport world championship.

"If Rossi is still at the top, it’s because he still has this notion of pleasure"

The young riders approve, while taking a stealthy glance at the box next door where the members of the Yamaha Tech3 MotoGP team have just settled: this time it’s downright Johann Zarco (in mid -season) who comes to address them, with the manager of the Var team at his side, Herve Poncharal !

With stars in their eyes, the participants religiously listen to the double French Moto2 world champion, who is also expected to succeed Valentino Rossi in the official Yamaha team at the end of 2018! Suffice to say that admiration and respect are clearly perceptible while n ° 5 gives some advice.

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"In the first place, you shouldn’t think you’ve arrived! I don’t question myself every day, without ever taking my status in MotoGP for granted," explains Johann. "Do not think of yourself as a star, keep your feet on the ground, show humility and intelligence: these are some of the conditions for moving on the right path".

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

"And then you have to give yourself to the maximum in each session, it is imperative to put the knife under your throat at each lap: it is the only way to improve", continues the first private pilot in the provisional classification before to complete several laps on one in front of the students of the Blu Cru Camp.

  • Smart MNC video live from Yamaha Blu Cru Camp :

The only regret for the latter: taken by the filming of an advertising film for a sponsor of Tech3, Johann Zarco could not take the time to observe them from the edge of the track, nor to debrief with them in the boxes. There remains the unforgettable memory of having tried to take the wheel of the most prominent French driver of the moment, the very one who does not hesitate to jostle Rossi to make his way to the forefront. !

"Money shouldn’t be a brake"

After a final short-track race – no surprise to the advantage of cross-racers! -, the pupils receive a diploma signed by each speaker. A gesture very well received from Yamaha, which has clearly given itself the means to carry out a superb operation open to all, whatever their profile. This Blu Cru Camp is in fact billed at 280 euros, a very reasonable price which includes training, meals, camping accommodation, but also gasoline and two sets of tires offered by the partner Bridgestone! Not to mention the delivery of a kit including a backpack, a camelbak and a Nike sports outfit.

Sport - MNC report at Blu Cru Camp: Yamaha is forming its camp well! - Used YAMAHA

This deliberately tight price – "so that money is not a brake", explains Laurent Benchana – is an indicator of the investment made by Yamaha France: with regard to the activities offered and their quality, as well as logistical efforts set up around "blue camp", it is clear that the French subsidiary had to put its hand in its pocket to complete the budget…

"Clearly, this is not a profitable operation", confirms Alexandre Kowalski, "but that is not the goal: we are not here to do business, but to lay solid foundations through this Blu Cru. Camp. The goal is to help our young competitors to reach the top level, and then to remain loyal to the Yamaha brand if possible ".

Mission accomplished in the opinion of MNC: the thirty pilots of this first vintage from the Blu Cru Camp certainly had Blue in their eyes when they joined their parents on the evening of the last day. !

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