YCRS / Mazziotto Racing get their first win!
A press release from the Yamaha Champions Riding School.
This past weekend, YCRS/ Mazziotto racing finally got to try out a 2017 Yamaha R6 and to say it was a success is a mild understatement.
Just a few short weeks ago, the Yamaha Champions Riding School‘s R6 sat in a crate at Markbilt Racebikes in Millville, NJ, awaiting bodywork from Armor Bodies. Armor molded and shipped the bodywork, all the hard parts made it to Markbuilt Racebikes from Woodcraft Technologies and Mark Rozema put his magic touch on it. It wasn’t meant to be a rush but when the old 2016 bike was sold (after two podiums earlier this year), there was no turning back!
In almost stock trim the bike was tested during a Summit Point Raceway CCS Team Endurance race that Anthony used as a test and tune day. After coming in often for feedback and changes, the team settled into a good base set up and Anthony then ran his fastest lap ever at Summit Point…and the second fastest lap of the CCS weekend. All on the 68th lap and still on the original tires.
For the bike’s debut race weekend, the team traveled to Pittsburgh International Race complex where a great inaugural event was put on by MotoAmerica. Chris Kruzel from Drippin Wet Graphics was kind enough to deliver the graphics and spend the evening applying them (aka not letting us mess them up!). His results speak for themselves.
Friday practice started shaky with the rear tire getting torn up within the first three laps of practice and the team not having the other compound in place due to fear of running out of its tire allotment. The team had to use the feedback Anthony gave in the first three laps and make the needed changes for the afternoon practice.
In the afternoon, the minor changes helped but it was all about the tire. The medium just didn’t work but the hard compound was the ticket. This will most likely change for next season but the new surface was too abrasive for anything but a hard compound tire. With Anthony coming in every few laps with feedback and his dad making the changes, he got faster and faster throughout the afternoon session. Finally, he finished the practice fastest in the SuperStock class with some ideas for more changes.
Overnight the changes were made, except one. Engine braking. Anthony said the bike was still slowing when he was finished braking and it was causing the back end to come around when he needed it to be in line so he could get the bike pointed in the right direction and accelerate. This “adjustment” is in the electronics and no one on this team had the expertise to make those adjustments. So we did what anyone would do…we guessed!
Saturday morning we made one more change after a few laps and put a fresh tire on for qualifying. The changes and the tire were the hot ticket. Anthony loved the bike and not only qualified in first position in his class, but fourth overall. The only riders that would start ahead of Anthony would be the three factory team riders who are in a higher class. This was a pretty big deal!
Sunday morning warmup came and we were fastest but Anthony said he really needed help with that engine braking as we knew the others were making changes to beat us: the second race would not be as easy as the first. Mike “CornDog” Cornwell is a dictionary of information but he is our Ohlins suspension guy, so he introduced us to Chris from Flashtune who is the data genius behind 75% of the bikes in the paddock; Chris was really helpful as he plugged in the laptop and made the requested engine-braking changes.Saturday afternoon was race time and to be honest, it was less dramatic that the weeks and hours getting ready for the weekend! Anthony started in first and finished in first. He had a small battle early with fellow New Jersian and NJ MiniGP rival Brandon Paasch but pulled away after a few laps. In the end, the YCRS/ Mazziotto Racing Markbilt Yamaha R6 crossed the line 8.3 seconds ahead of second place. Our first SuperStock win! It was a very emotional podium ceremony that ended with a press conference and cameras. All very exciting. But we needed to do it again the next day, so back to work.
In the race, Anthony looked to repeat as he battled with Brandon for a little while before pulling away, but this time, Jason Aguilar (also a multi-time Yamaha Champions Riding School graduate) got by Brandon early and went with Anthony. Jason is on a faster, more developed bike, and when combined with a rider of Jason’s caliber, fending off the current points leader was going to be an uphill battle. Aguilar is not leading the championship points due to luck. With a hand-full of laps to go, Jason out-powered Anthony down the front straight and took the lead. Every lap, Jason would pull away in the straights and Anthony would spend the time in the technical sections catching back up but never got close enough to make a pass until the very last corner of the race where he had no chance of out-powering Jason to the finish line.
In the end, we missed the win and a perfect weekend by .4 seconds. Not too shabby for a half-a-shoe string team on a basically stock motorcycle with a rookie rider who only met his new bike a week ago! No excuses, the challenges just added a little extra pride to the accomplishments of the weekend. Jason, Michael Gilbert, and Nick McFadden are great riders who we look up to. Hopefully, being at our home track in New Jersey in two weeks can bridge those advantages and be kind enough to allow us back on the podium.
This little team didn’t have the budget for the west-coast MotoAmerica races this year, but look for YCRS / Mazziotto Racing to continue the success at New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 9 & 10 with MotoAmerica and then the following weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
As always, thanks to our supporters. Yamaha Champions Riding School for the coaching, the bike, and the overall guidance of the program. AGV and Dainese for keeping the rider safe and comfortable. Markbilt Racebikes for making the bike race ready and flawless for the weekend. Woodcraft including Hindle Exhausts and Armor Bodies for providing the pieces that make this a legitimate race bike. Scott Powersports for the support. N2 Track Days for the best track time on the east coast. SBS Brake pads for allowing Anthony to race an entire weekend with absolutely zero brake fade or complaints of any kind. JT’s Barber Shop. Brothers BBQ. Yamaha Motor USA. Motion Pro. Yamaha Generators for quietly powering all of our pit spaces. NJ MiniGP for providing the foundation for Anthony as a young racer. Artie Meeker for taking his vacation days to help the team and be the glue. “The original” Anthony Mazziotto Sr. (grandpa) for driving us all over the place and cooking those awesome meals…and most of all Anthony Jr. (dad) for everything you do and especially for almost never missing any little detail.
Yamaha Champions Riding School is the nation’s premier motorcycle training program. YCRS is the evolution of the Freddie Spencer High Performance Riding School and is led by former racer, author, and right hand man of Spencer; Nick Ienatsch. YCRS uses “Champions Habits” to teach all riders the skills and techniques used by the top riders in the world to go faster, stay safer, or both while concentrating on the way in which modern motorcycles are designed to be ridden. YCRS is dedicated to making all motorcycle riders safer and more in control of their riding, no matter what type of riding they do. For more information visit http://www.champschool.com