Yamaha’s got a plan to race its new R7 sportbike. The new machine debuted in May, offering a sportbike twist on the MT-07 platform. While it would fit into the rule structure of the Isle of Man TT, MotoAmerica, and other events or race organizations, Yamaha wanted this thing in front of customers at Euro tracks, So, we get news of the R7 Cup for 2022.
The R7 Cup is a spec series, aimed at taking riders from the trackday stage to actual racing. Paolo Pavesio, director of Marketing and Motorsport for Yamaha Motor Europe, put it this way: “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.”
The same sort of grassroots enthusiasm that drives series like Canadian Superbike’s Lightweight Sportbike class, then, but on faster machines.
The R7 Cup series will be national-level, but riders who prove their skills in these events will have the chance to things to the next level. Sometime towards the end of the 2022 season, Yamaha says it will have a “SuperFinale” race at a World Superbike event. The top 30 R7 racers will gather at a track for a doubleheader.
The big-time racing experience is a great perk for Yamaha’s fans, no doubt, but also a good chance for Yamaha to promote the idea of some sort of supertwins class in WSB. Given the industry’s move in this direction, it’s hard to imagine we won’t see something along these lines replacing the 600 series down the road.