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Stills captured by Anton Strickland during MotoGP pre-season filming
NEWS

Inside The VR46 Academy

Jul 132020

It’s where legends are being made, and tomorrow’s champions train. A MotoGP Mecca. Born from one man’s vision; and nestled in the scenic outskirts of Northern Italy.

Tavullia is not only home to The Doctor himself - nine-time Grand Prix World Champion Valentino Rossi - but it is where you’ll find the legendary Motor Ranch VR46. At the heart of the facility lies a purpose built 1.5 mile dirt track; where Rossi, his friends, and the VR46 Rider Academy hone their craft in pursuit of Grand Prix glory.

“The idea behind the academy is to help Italian riders arrive at the top level,” explains Valentino. “We try to have fast riders but also with a good attitude. We decide with our heart!”

 

It’s much more than just a simple dirt track, to learn apexes and bike control though. The VR46 Ranch fulfills Rossi’s vision to help young drivers navigate the slippery path to top flight Grand Prix racing - while growing up together. Something that is very often overlooked in the development of young riders.

 

“We try to help the Academy guys grow up as a rider, but also as an athlete and as a man,” continues Rossi. “It’s good because I can share my experience with all the riders, and also speak with them about life in general, girls, any problems that we are having, the passion that we have. But it’s also great for me because it’s helped me to remain young!”

In addition to friends in MotoGP - such as former VR46 Academy superstar Franco Morbidelli, eleven young riders are currently enrolled in Rossi’s programme across Moto2 and Moto3. Lorenzo Baldassarri, Luca Marini, Andrea Migno, Nicolò Bulega, Niccolò Antonelli, Francesco Bagnaia, Dennis Foggia, Marco Bezzecchi, Celestino Vietti, and Stefano Manzi.

 

Bezzechi and Anonelli explain it best.

 

“Being selected by the academy was one of the best opportunities I’ve ever had [in my career],” said Marco Bezzecchi - VR46 Academy Moto2 rider. “Vale for me is my idol!”

 

“Vale is just an incredible person; if you ask him something he always has time for you, and he’s the best rider in the world,” adds Nicolo Antonelli - VR46 Academy Moto3 rider. “We race every Saturday. You learn a lot how to battle with other riders and control the bike; the level is very high.”

 

It’s truly any racers dream to own their own track; and this is Valentino’s… join The Doctor on an exclusive tour of the track and its facilities, where dreams really are made.

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