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Casas earns historic first Superbike podium at AMP

July 25, 2019 - Tomas Casas and the Parts Canada Yamaha team made good use of their trip to the East Coast this weekend, scoring a career-best weekend in the Pro Superbike class at round four of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship.

Heading to Atlantic Motorsport Park for the first time aboard a YZF-R1 superbike, Casas was faced with a daunting challenge at a circuit that is known for being incredibly physically demanding on any machine, let alone a 1000cc feature bike.

The only rider in the two Pro classes to compete in all four races of the doubleheader weekend, Casas’ battle was made even worse as the Peterborough, ON youngster was forced to battle the elements, with extreme heat warnings on Saturday warning of temperatures as high as 40°C and a Maritime storm on Sunday bringing heavy rain.

Despite the cards stacked against Casas and the Yamaha team, the 20-year old got off to a productive start in both classes, qualifying in pole position for the Pro Sport Bike class and a respectable eighth in the Superbike category on Friday.

The two-time defending Sport Bike champion actually managed to post a better time aboard his 600cc machine, as he faced an adjustment period aboard the bigger superbike at arguably Canada’s toughest track.

That all began to change once the racing rolled around, however, as Casas managed to overcome his exhaustion to win a thrilling battle for fourth with veteran Jeff Williams in Saturday’s race one of the feature Pro Superbike class. The result was his fourth consecutive top-six finish to open the season, making him and championship leader Ben Young the only riders to accomplish such consistency.

As the weather took a turn for the worst on Sunday, Casas decided to up the tempo slightly in the changing conditions, once again capitalizing on opportunities to put himself into a top-three spot on the track for the first time in his career. It seemed as though a hard-charging Samuel Trepanier may end up catching Casas on the final lap, but the youngster was able to give it one last push in the closing moments, securing his first ever podium finish in the Superbike class.

As a result, Casas became the youngest podium finisher since Bodhi Edie’s miraculous victory in 2013, and the first Yamaha rider to podium since Edie in 2017.

“After a tough Sport Bike race where I found myself dehydrated and feeling like I was going to pass out, the rain really came into play for this one,” Casas said. “I really enjoy riding in the rain, and I’m extremely happy to have put my Yamaha R1 on the podium for my first time. Hopefully there will be more to come.”

The strong weekend moves Casas just five points behind Trepanier in the battle for third in the overall standings, and firmly into a top-five spot with a 25-point gap to sixth entering his home track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

It was another strong weekend for Casas in the Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike category as well, however one that will still have the two-time defending champion entering a tricky spot heading to the season-finale doubleheader at CTMP.

Arriving in Nova Scotia with a 30-point deficit championship leader Will Hornblower, Casas needed to put some distance between himself and his Yamaha counterpart in order to trim the gap through four rounds.

After getting off to a good start with pole position, Casas continued that early success with a thrilling victory on Saturday. Unfortunately for the former Pro Rookie of the Year, Hornblower was close behind in both instances, qualifying in second before making a desperate last-lap attempt on Casas to just narrowly finish second again. Despite his rival limiting the damage, Casas was still able to cut the gap to 19 points entering race two on Sunday.

Things were different from the get-go in the second part of the doubleheader, however, as a determined Hornblower got a terrific start and never looked back, storming his way to a commanding victory. Even worse for Casas, a surging Sebastien Tremblay was able to capitalize on the youngster’s exhaustion, overtaking him for second place and forcing Casas to third.

“Sunday’s race was not what I had hoped for, but I was glad to at least put it on the podium,” Casas said. “Doing both classes on a doubleheader weekend, especially at a track like Shubie, it really took a toll on me, but now I look forward to bringing this home at CTMP.”

With the up-and-down weekend, Hornblower will extend his lead to 34 points entering CTMP, but all hope is far from lost after Casas cruised to a pair of dominant victories at the same track just a year ago.

Tomas and the team would like to thank all his sponsors for their hard work, including Yamaha Motor Canada, Parts Canada, Yamaha bLU cRU, Pro 6 Cycle & Dunlop Tires, Hindle Exhaust, Brooklin Cycle Racing, GBRacing, J.J. Stewart Motors Ltd., Flexiglass, Bickle Racing, Bluestreak Racing, DP Brakes, Human 2.0, EHR Sports, Vortex, Peterborough Cycle Salvage, Trackdayhub.com, and all other personnel and fans for their love and support.

Thursday, 25 July 2019 18:21 Published in Rider and Team Releases


YAMAHA MOTOR CANADA INTRODUCES 2019 bLU cRU TEAMS AND RIDERS

April 5, 2019 (Toronto, ON) – Yamaha Motor Canada is pleased to announce its roster of elite bLU cRU race teams and riders that will compete for championships in racing series across the country in 2019.

Following a successful 2018 campaign that included nine Canadian national championships, a Gold medal and a Team of the Year award, excitement is high as the 2019 season gets underway.

MOTOCROSS
Yamaha’s Canadian MX teams will once again contest the full Rockstar Energy Triple Crown national series in 2019. The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha team is back in the headlining 450 Pro class with one of the country’s most serious race efforts. New York native Phil Nicoletti, signed to the team in late 2018, is looking to build on the podium finishes he produced last year; veteran Shawn Maffenbeier (Swift Current, SK) joins Nicoletti this year after a previous stint with the OTSFF squad from 2013-2015. Both riders will contest all three portions of the Triple Crown – arenacross, motocross and supercross – with their sights set squarely on the overall championship and the accompanying $100,000 payout. The team also announced the addition of support rider Sam Gaynor (Erin, ON), who will participate in all outdoor MX races and select AX/SX rounds.

The Royal Distributing FXR Yamaha team is coming in hot after two straight 250 Pro MX championships and back-to-back Team of the Year honours in 2017 and 2018, plus their first SX title last fall. Led by 2018 Rookie of the Year Marco Cannella (Hamilton, ON), the team has brought in experienced AMA rider Luke Renzland (Hewitt, NJ) and returning team member Hayden Halstead (Waterford, ON) in hopes of continuing their winning ways.

ROAD RACING
Defending two-time Canadian Pro Sport Bike champion Tomas Casas is stepping up to the feature Superbike class for the 2019 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) season aboard his new Parts Canada Yamaha YZF-R1. The 19-year-old Peterborough, ON resident will spend the season acquainting himself with the increased performance of the R1 while attempting to three-peat in Pro Sport Bike aboard his YZF-R6.

FLAT TRACK
Despite moving up from the Intermediate division to the Expert ranks midway through the 2018 season, Jimmy McCullough (Paris, ON) found his way to the podium by the end of the year. After announcing a partnership with the Sehl Racing team for 2019 and sourcing a new YZ450F, expectations are high for the coming season.

SNOW BIKE
Representing Yamaha in the snow are bLU cRU athletes Cody Matechuk (Cochrane, AB) and Brock Hoyer (Williams Lake, BC). The Western Canadian duo brought home hardware in January at the X Games Aspen, with Matechuk winning Gold and Hoyer taking Bronze in Snow BikeCross competition on their converted YZ450F machinery.

OFF-ROAD
Defending Off-Road Ontario Pro champions Connor Brogan (Bolton, ON) and Zach Lewis (Pontypool, ON) are back to tackle the trails and woods in 2019, competing in the National Enduro Championship and Off-Road Ontario series on YZ machinery.

bLU cRU FACTORY RIDE AWARD
Last year’s bLU cRU Factory Ride Award winners Jeremy McKie (motocross), Jake LeClair (road racing) and Jacob Rainville (flat track) are eager to prove themselves in 2019. These teenagers are putting forward their best efforts after winning use of a Yamaha motorcycle for the season and a $2,500 credit toward genuine Yamaha parts and accessories.

After a one-year hiatus, the Factory Ride Award program will return to Western Canada In 2019, once again giving amateur MX riders three chances across the country to win one of these coveted awards. The program will also return to road racing and flat track for the second year in a row.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is actively engaged in racing efforts all over the world under its three main principles of raising the value of the Yamaha brand, acquiring advanced technologies, and promoting the healthy spread of motorcycle racing.

Saturday, 06 April 2019 04:08 Published in Rider and Team Releases


Jacob Rainville wins Yamaha Factory Ride Award in flat track

December 27, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Canadian amateur racer Jacob Rainville made history recently by becoming the first rider to win a Yamaha bLU cRU Factory Ride Award in the discipline of flat track.

“It’s a great honour to win this award,” said Rainville, 16. “I’ve been riding Yamahas since I was five. My first flat track bike was a PW50. This is like a dream come true.”

Rainville earned the prestigious accolade by accumulating the most points by a Yamaha rider in the Flat Track Canada Novice DTX class in 2018. The Welland, ON native will receive a brand-new Yamaha YZ motorcycle to race for the 2019 season and a $2,500 Yamaha parts credit to be redeemed through the Yamaha dealer network for parts, accessories, power equipment, Yamalube and more. A custom bLU cRU graphics kit is also included.

Rainville is excited for the opportunity to be one of the first flat track racers in North America to race the new 2019 YZ450F, which features Yamaha’s exclusive Power Tuner app. This technology will allow Rainville to tune the motorcycle’s performance via his smartphone based on track conditions.

Moving up to the Intermediate ranks in 2019, Rainville looks to build on a successful year that included a win and three podium appearances at the Novice level.

“The technology and performance of the new YZ450F should help me achieve my goals of being out front, winning some races and having fun in 2019,” Rainville noted. “I would like to thank Yamaha Motor Canada for this amazing opportunity.”

Rainville joins MX racers Jeremy McKie and Jake Tricco, as well as Jake LeClair (road racing) as bLU cRU Factory Ride Award winners in 2018.

Thursday, 27 December 2018 13:34 Published in Rider and Team Releases


LeClair Wins Yamaha Factory Ride for 2019

August 24, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – The honour of winning the very first Yamaha bLU cRU Factory Ride Award in the discipline of road racing has gone to Mopar CSBK Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike champion Jake LeClair. LeClair, age 16, was presented the award at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after claiming the class title on his Yamaha YZF-R3.

Friday, 24 August 2018 14:42 Published in Rider and Team Releases