Yamaha Motor Europe is delighted to announce that two riders from the 2022 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European SuperFinale, winner Emiliano Ercolani and runner-up Evann Plaindoux, have earned a fully supported spot on the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup grid for 2023.
After taking the overall victory in Portimao, Italy’s Ercolani was automatically offered the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup ride for next year, while Yamaha Motor Europe also selected 14-year-old French rider Plaindoux, after impressing as one of the youngest riders in the R3 SuperFinale.
Ercolani and Plaindoux’s eye-catching performances earned them praise throughout the FIM Superbike World Championship paddock, and the two young talents will now benefit from full Yamaha support in next year’s Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup.
Ahead of the R3 SuperFinale, Ercolani had contested rounds of the Yamaha R3 Cup Italy and despite missing two of the five races, he ended eighth in the final standings, scoring a podium at Mugello. The 17-year-old also enjoyed a strong maiden outing in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup as a wildcard at Misano earlier this year, fighting for the podium in both races and scoring a best finish of sixth.
Ercolani was then one of the main contenders in the inaugural R3 SuperFinale, backing up his third-place finish in the opener with a fine ride to victory in Race 2, seeing him crowned the overall winner.
After winning the 2020 Promosport 125 title, Plaindoux has spent the last two seasons contesting the French Supersport 300 Championship. In 2022, he finished third in the standings with five podiums and a victory at Pau-Arnos.
Despite his relative inexperience, Plaindoux was one of the star performers in the R3 SuperFinale. After qualifying 11th, the French youngster charged through to a double podium at the Algarve International Circuit, seeing him take home the silver medal.
Now, both will have the chance to follow in the footsteps of previous Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup winners Iker Garcia Abella and Enzo Valentim, as they step up to the world championship-supporting class next season. Title glory in that would see them promoted to the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship with full support from Yamaha.
Yamaha Motor Europe Marketing and Motorsport Director
“It is with great pleasure that we can announce Emiliano and Evann as the two riders who will step up to the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup with our full support in 2023. We were very impressed with the performances shown by both throughout the weekend in Portimao, and we believe that they can be very competitive next season. The level of competition in the R3 SuperFinale was very high, which makes Emiliano’s overall victory even more impressive. Evann showed maturity beyond his years, with great speed and consistency, so we decided to offer him a supported ride for next season as well. Congratulations to both, they obviously have great potential, and we look forward to seeing them back in the WorldSBK paddock in 2023.”