When Yamaha discontinued the tack-sharp R6 in November, 2020, and followed it up with the all-new YZF-R7 just six months later in May, 2021, devout supersport riders scoffed at the move. After all, the R7 borrowed heavily from the MT-07 naked bike, only adjusting the geometry, frame rigidity, and bodywork in the process. With only 74 horsepower on tap, the R7 was never meant to replace the R6, and Yamaha’s R7 Cup will make that clear in 2022.
The single-make series will take place as a part of France’s Ultimate Cup Moto endurance and sprint race program. As a result, the R7 Cup will host 5-6 rounds at famous French circuits such as Le Mans, Magny-Cours, Dijon-Prenois, and Le Vigeant. Despite the marquee venues, riders don’t need stellar race pedigree to participate. Aligning with the R7’s ambitions, the single-make cup will cater to novice and amateur racers.
“Unlike the R3 Challenge or the bLU cRU European Cup, which are designed to detect the stars of tomorrow and promote the ascent to the highest level, the R7 Cup particularly targets the pleasure of its participants,” noted Yamaha Europe in a prepared statement.
Team Blue will host up to 40 riders at a dedicated R7 Cup village and provide everything from technical advice to entertainment. Top finishers will enjoy R7 Cup podiums, Yamalube endowments, and Yamaha clothing. The brand also promises appearances by guest stars, professional pilots, or ambassadors throughout the season.
While Yamaha will reveal the technical regulations and registration requirements in November, 2021, Michelin has already been tapped as the series tire supplier. Team Blue also states that they are favoring a low-cost formula with affordable conversion kits, fairings, and tire allowances.
Most recently, Yamaha unveiled the GYTR R7 boasting track-oriented components. Of course, the new kit doesn’t make the R7 a World Supersport-worthy machine like the track-only R6, but we can’t wait to see what novice and amateur endurance and sprint racers do with Yamaha’s approachable new sportbike.