American rider Yaakov returns to the garage after a practice session at Misano last week. Photo courtesy of Yamaha.

Next weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Italy, round one of the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup will take place with 27 riders battling it out to become the championship’s first-ever winner.

Among those 27 riders is Biglerville, Pennsylvania’s own Kayla Yaakov. Thirteen-year-old Yaakov competed in last year’s MotoAmerica Mini Cup by Motul as a member of the American Racing Team, the same squad that includes five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion and current Moto2 World Championship contender Cameron Beaubier.

Yaakov was selected to compete in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup, and she is the only American rider who was chosen. “My expectations for the first season are to develop a very good pace, to learn all the new tracks here in Europe and have a lot of fun,” Yaakov said. “My first impressions of the Yamaha R3 are that they look fast, they handle well, and it looks like they’re a lot of fun to ride.”

Yaakov meets her number 69 Yamaha YZF-R3 race bike for the first time. Photo courtesy of Yamaha.

Yaakov and the other European Cup riders tested at Misano last week. They were scheduled to participate in six 20-minute practice sessions, and changing weather conditions enabled the competitors to experience riding with both slicks and rain-compound tires. After a wet first session, the track continued to dry until the rain returned ahead of the fifth session, which was forced to be cancelled, before it dried up again for the sixth and final practice session.

Misano will be the first of six rounds and will be followed by Donington Park (July 2-3), Assen (July 23-24), Most (August 6-7), Magny-Cours (September 3-4) and Barcelona (September 17-18). Each round will feature two races.

Yaakov is anxiously awaiting her 14th birthday this summer when she will meet the minimum age requirement to compete in MotoAmeeica’s Junior Cup Series.

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