While the third round of the World Superbike Championship was happening at Donington Park in the UK last week, Yamaha were busy making sure that a selection of national race teams from all over Europe were getting the best training to help them maximize the potential of their race bikes, and push for Yamaha race success from Norway to the south of Spain.
For the past five years, Yamaha Europe's Racing Division has run the Yamaha Race Training (YRT); a three day course aimed at providing European Yamaha race teams the opportunity to learn about how to make the most of their R-series race bikes. Within this training Yamaha's best Japanese and European Yamaha Racing engineers help teams with their pre-season preparations and raise the knowledge level in terms of the technical set-up and machine tuning of their YZF-R6 and R1.
This exclusive course is only open to Supersport, Superbike, Endurance and European Superstock teams and covers a series of theoretical seminars as well as three days on circuit riding to put the theory into practice.
In addition to the engineers from Yamaha Racing; expert advice is available from Yamaha's technical partners, such as Íhlins and 2D. Completing the exclusive package is Michelin, who provide tyres and tyre advice throughout the three-day program.
For 2007, YRT was held at the Ricardo Tormo circuit at Valencia between 28th and 30th March. 80 riders in 35 teams from 13 European countries took part, making this no small event to organize.
Valencia's complicated track, excellent facilities and favourable winter weather conditions mean that the circuit is in use for 95% of the year by everything from trucks to Formula One cars, MotoGP to national championship teams. Perhaps because of this, grip levels can be unpredictable causing conditions to change by the hour and requiring constant adjustments to the set-up of the bike - ideal for training the teams in best set-up practice.
During the three days, technicians and riders from each team attended seminars that covered key topics, such as:
- A detailed technical presentation of the 2007 R-Series models - all the major new technical aspects of the brand new R1 were covered in detail
- 2007 YEC racing parts seminar - All the new and modified racing parts, that Yamaha offers under the brand name YEC, were explained in detail to all the teams
- 2007 R1 Fuel injection workshop (incl. YCC-T and YCC-I) - in this workshop the teams learnt how to modify their ignition and fuel base settings to match their rider and the track conditions using the YEC ECU and accompanying software
- Engine workshop, including a camshaft-timing seminar
Learning all this theory is one thing, putting it into practice is another. Every rider was designated four sessions a day on the track, in order for them and their technical team to try out what they had been taught in the classroom.
Wet weather during the first day of the event gave the teams the perfect opportunity to practice finding their ideal wet race set-up. On the second and third day the riders could enjoy dry sessions and were able to work towards a competitive basic set up. And with the best lap times of below 1'39.000, it proved that the teams are ready to start competing in their championships.
With the three-day session over it is now down to each individual team to make the most of their training, putting into practice what they have learnt to go for gold in the various championships.