Yamaha’s New R7 Cup Has Admirable IntentionsArmani Moffatt
Fresh for 2022 from Yamaha comes this, the new R7 European Series including a ‘SuperFinale’ event which takes place at a WSB event. And it’s admirable that they’re trying hard to promote this as an enjoyable way to go racing, something to be shared as a community, rather than a stepping stone to greater things. Well, good luck with that…
Cynical, perhaps, but these kinds of one-make series are bursting with kids across the globe, all hoping to get noticed, to advance one step on the ladder. The idea of having a big finale at a bona fide world championship meeting from one perspective looks like a really great experience for the less serious racer, what dreams are made of, etc. But from another it’s under a spotlight, and being under a spotlight is an opportunity, one good enough to spend a year racing hard to get there.
To get an idea of what Yamaha are going for, here is Yamaha’s European director of Marketing and Motorsport, Paolo Pavesio:
“The concept behind the national R7 Cups and the R7 Series European SuperFinale is different to that of our other racing series, in that they are not designed specifically for young racers looking to progress up the racing ladder. Instead, they are designed to be cost effective and accessible for those riders who want to race primarily for fun or to step up after participating in track days. The goal is to create a series with a real community spirit, one that feels welcoming to riders whatever their age or background. A series and an event in which Dad can race alongside his kids, or friends can compete to finally prove who is the fastest. But while it’s as much about enjoyment as it is about racing, we’re sure that we’re going to see some real competition on track as riders race to secure a place on the Yamaha R7 Series European SuperFinale grid at the end of the season!”
Very romantic, idealistic and grassroots’esque for sure, and being honest this sounds like most tight-knit club racing ecosystems that still thrive right now. Being held at national levels first, the big showdown will be a mix of the best 36 riders from all the various series combined. Quite how it’s going to work, or where it going to run, is unclear at the moment as each will be operated by national Yamaha importers. So it could be at a high level club series, or maybe with the big national series like BSB. Or, they could hire tracks themselves and do it all on their own – we await specific details at present.
You can see why Yamaha are so keen to promote the fun times with the R7, a Supersport machine based on one of the most hilarious bikes ever made, the MT-07. Yamaha’s new beginner sportsbike is a little ripper, serious enough at track action and still daft enough to make you smile all day long on the road. It’s brilliant, go try one.
But, we can’t help but think that without some kind of screening process, they may not get the eclectic mix of participants and ambitions they’re after. It could get hijacked by the up-the-ziggurat brigade, and while another competitive series for up and coming racers is always welcome, we really hope this genuinely does achieve what they’re after.
The Ducati Tri-Options Cup has been a great source of racing and a prime example of what Yamaha want, with real part-timers thrashing about during BSB meetings alongside ex-BSB Legends. The difference is they’re not bikes for young ‘uns, though, whereas an R7 most certainly is.
Will we still watch no matter who’s in it? Damn right – good luck Yamaha!
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