Yamaha Champions Challenge, a great success... by par! Yamaha kicked off the Misano racing weekend with a very different sport in the San Marino sunshine yesterday. Yamaha riders Troy Corser, Noriyuki Haga, Fabien Foret, David Checa and Shinichi...
Yamaha Champions Challenge, a great success... by par!
Yamaha kicked off the Misano racing weekend with a very different sport in the San Marino sunshine yesterday. Yamaha riders Troy Corser, Noriyuki Haga, Fabien Foret, David Checa and Shinichi Nakatomi were found not on the race track, but up in the Italian hills at the Vallugola Golf Club.
A new initiative, the Yamaha Champions Challenge, took to the greens to confirm to people that the Yamaha brand is also successful away from the racetrack. The Yamaha riders, a group of lucky racing fans and a mix of both motorsport and golf journalists split into mixed groups for the challenge. The groups made up four teams, rated by handicap, playing a leisurely nine holes at the Parco di San Bartolo, in the hills above Pesaro. The game offered riders Corser, Haga, Nakatomi, Foret and Checa the chance to show a whole new range of talents.
Taking top honours for the day was full-time golfer Mark Spratt, representing the Burning 2 Learn charity; the next best on the day was Mauro Rossi, who played the course with Fabien Foret and Marco Sebastiani. Fabien proved to be the top rider away from the track and managed to keep out of the bunkers all day. Mark commented, "I normally find golfersvery serious and not so interactive during a game, it was really refreshing and enjoyable to take part in something where everyone was so friendly. I had a fantastic time!"
At the end of the afternoon's competition the players gathered at the clubhouse for a buffet to relax and talk over an enjoyable day's sport. They were joined by members of both the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB squad and the Yamaha WSS Team.
In an unusual twist, the golfers started their event in the pitlane at the Misano track, a unique place for a first tee-off. The assembled journalists and racing fans looked on as the riders took their first shots of the day on specially laid astroturf in front of the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB pitbox before transferring to the Vallugola Golf Club to play the remaining holes.
Yamaha's motorcycle and golf industries are more closely linked than many realise, with several motorcycle components being used under the skin of Yamaha's golf cars as well. The cars themselves also share the Yamaha motorcycle legendary reputation for reliability andthat is an important reason why Yamaha's presence on the European golf courses continues to grow strongly.
Whilst some people would say that golf and racing don't mix, Yamaha firmly believe that golfers can be at home on the track as well and motorcycle riders and racers can be comfy on the green too, just ask Fabien or Troy!