A TEAM WITH A DIFFERENCE: YAMAHA VILTAÏS EXPERIENCES
Combining top performances with social inclusion for young people: that’s the unusual challenge Yamaha Viltaïs Expériences has set itself. The team – one of the regular FIM EWC squads – is part of a community services organization.
“Take control of your own life”: a philosophy to which the Yamaha Viltaïs Expériences team, competing in the Superstock class of the Endurance world championship, gives new meaning. The team is a branch of the community services association Viltaïs, which provides support in the areas of social inclusion and housing in the French département of Allier, accepting 2,800-odd people each year at its various facilities. The team is made up of struggling youngsters, who are coached by an exacting team manager, Yannick Lucot. “High standards are the route to self-confidence,” he says. He has a simple objective: making sure these teenagers and young men are fully included in society. But to get results you need skill and training, and so the association set up the Viltaïs Racing Division, which offers a motorsports mechanic training course as part of its first-year undergraduate degree.
Having started out in the 50cc category of the French Endurance championship in 2003 (and notching up four wins), the Viltaïs team has edged its way up the ranks. After winning the 600cc category of the French Endurance championship in 2008 and 2009, the team made its Endurance world championship debut in the Superstock class in 2011. They were fourth in the overall standings in 2013, and claimed a superb second place at last year’s Bol d’Or. “We teach a success-oriented approach. Although some of the teams in the championship are sceptical about our squad, I never lose sight of the objective: becoming world champion in our category,” Yannick Lucot explains. “I want to show all these youngsters who join my team each season that anything is possible.” The current team – made up of French Superbike championship riders Dylan Buisson, Axel Maurin and Sébastien Gérard – is 19th on the starting grid.