With two of the world’s most beloved motorcycle racers on deck, Yamaha’s “The Apex Arrival” promised greatness on the race track. Last weekend, during the awesome track day at the Clark International Speedway, that’s exactly what racing fans got—and then some.
The motorcycle manufacturer brought to the country Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP champions Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli so they could show local fans the stuff that had made them decorated figures in the MotoGP, the oldest and most prestigious motorsport championship in the world.
It’s the first time that the power duo has visited the Philippines, so both were visibly thrilled when a horde of fans welcomed them at the airport when they arrived, a day ahead of their scheduled track day.
At the Clark International Speedway on March 4, Quartararo and Morbidelli were once again greeted by thousands of racing fans, who cheered them on as they burned rubber on the race track. They showcased a variety of motorcycle tricks, which merited enthusiastic claps and loud hoots from the audience.
Among the bikes that were featured are the Yamaha Aerox 155, Sniper 155, and the YZF-R3.
Bringing Quartararo and Morbidelli to the country is a big deal for Yamaha, as it shows their full commitment to racing. The last time Yamaha brought two humongous figures in the racing world—Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales—many years ago, it caused quite a stir in the racing scene in Manila.
Having the international racers on Philippine soil also serves as a big confidence and morale boost to local riders, who are looking to follow in their footsteps in the coming years.
True enough, Morbidelli had some wise words for the Filipino Yamaha Racing Heroes McKinley Kyle Paz, April King Mascardo, and Gian Carlo Mauricio, whom they met shortly after their Manila arrival.
“Always remember that you are the first of the Philippine generation of riders. So when you’re racing, always do your best and make your country proud,” said the Italian motorcycle racer.
During the press conference, Quartararo also talked about how his racing style has evolved over the years, saying he is definitely a more mature rider today.
“I think the more races you do and the more you get to know the strengths of your bike, the better you become. I remember the first time I was on a Moto GP bike, I was so lost. Today, it’s a totally different story,” said the French rider, who is more popularly known for his monicker, El Diablo.
After answering questions from the press, the international racers gamely tried out some Filipino delicacies on stage, including chicken adobo, sizzling sisig, pork sinigang, and halo-halo.