Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup Title Rivals Speak Ahead of Magny-Cours Final

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After five rounds and 10 races, the 2022 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup title showdown commences this weekend at Magny-Cours, with Enzo Valentim and Devis Bergamini both looking to take the crown, and with it a Yamaha-supported ride in the 2023 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship.

The Brazilian and Italian both head into the last round with four wins apiece, but it’s Valentim who arrives in France with the advantage. Closing the 41-point gap may seem like a tough task for Bergamini, but with potential rain and 21 other riders all looking to round off the season on the podium, nothing is set in stone just yet.

Ahead of this weekend, get to know the title rivals as they prepare to duel it out in front of the FIM Superbike World Championship paddock in France.

Enzo Valentim
Born in São Paulo, Valentim began his racing career when he was 10 years old, having been inspired by his father during track days when he was younger. After racing in several categories for the next few years, the 18-year-old joined the Yamaha R3 Cup Brazil, finishing third in the 2021 championship.

“I always watched my dad training and riding in track days when I was younger, so I thought I would also give racing a try,” Valentim said. “After a few seasons, I then joined the Yamaha R3 Cup in Brazil, and over the next four years this is where I was able to develop my skills the most.

“In 2018, I had one of the best races of my career. We had some bad luck with the engine, which meant I was unable to participate in the practice sessions, so we had no expectations for the weekend. Despite not having much running, I was focused on the victory and in the end I managed to open a 10-second gap to second place and win.”

After the 2021 campaign, Valentim as well as the other top performing Brazilian riders, Gustavo Manso and Kevin Fontainha, joined the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup. After the opening rounds, it was clear that Valentim was going to be in contention for the title.

“When I entered the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup, I knew that I would be competitive, but I certainly did not imagine that it would be a year with such success. Assen was the point where I realised that I had a good chance, it was without a doubt the best weekend of the year for me.

“I believe that what made me stay ahead was that during every weekend my team and I worked on a strategy, because in a championship where all of the riders are so close, the last laps are the most important.

“For the final round, I already have a plan in place but the races are always very unpredictable. I will just keep doing what I have been doing this season and hope we can close out the season on top of the standings.

“For sure, in the last races Devis has been very difficult to compete against. He is always very fast and if I didn’t have an advantage in the championship, I would be very worried for this last round.”

Devis Bergamini
19-year-old Bergamini comes from the small town of Gabicce Mare, close to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Prior to the 2022 season, he spent much of his junior racing career contesting the Italian CIV Supersport 300 Championship, and in 2021 he finished sixth overall, competing against several WorldSSP300 riders and race winners.

“I raced in the Italian championship for many years and learned a lot in both the Pre Moto3 and Supersport 300 classes,” said Bergamini. “Before this year, I think one race that I remember being very good for me was in a wet race at Mugello back in 2017, but this year I have had many weekends that I would consider the best of my career.”

Despite having a lot of experience at the national level, Bergamini was looking to use the 2022 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup to learn new circuits outside of Italy, and was surprised to find himself in the title hunt.

“I didn’t have any expectations for results, as all the tracks would be new for me, so I was just focused on getting more experience outside of Italy. I’m surprised, because I have been able to learn the circuits very quickly though, and in the end we are here to try and win the championship!

“The secret to winning in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup is to always wait for the perfect moment to make your move towards the front. Everyone is very close on track and one mistake can lose you many places, so it’s important to always think ahead.

“It will be difficult to close the gap to Enzo, because 41 points is a lot when there are only 50 available, but I’m ready to push and try to take as many points as possible. Enzo is a very good rider and I’m happy to be fighting with him this weekend.”

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