The ex-Tommy Hill, Virgin Mobile Cup-winning
2003 Yamaha R6 599cc Production Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. JYARJ051000007735
Brainchild of successful Grand Prix racer turned team manager Rob McElnea, the Yamaha R6 Cup was conceived as a relatively low cost, one-make race series to nurture young up-and-coming talent. The Virgin Group was already sponsoring Rob's British Superbike Championship effort and came on board as headline sponsor of the series, which ran for five years from 2003 to 2007 providing some of the most thrilling racing of the period. Similar series ran in other European countries. Only riders aged between 16 and 22 were permitted to take part, provided that they had not finished in the top five of the championship. For their £18,000+VAT fee, entrants were provided with a Yamaha R6 for the entire season with no additional costs. Virtually standard, the R6s weighed around 390lbs and had a little over 100bhp on tap. More important than the prize money (£300 per race win) was the fact that the championship winner was guaranteed a place in Rob Mac's BSB team for the following season.
Many of today's top riders learned their craft in the R6 Cup, arguably the best known being Tommy Hill, the reigning British Superbike Champion. The Yamaha R6 offered here is that raced to victory by Tommy in the Virgin Mobile Cup's inaugural season of 2003, a brilliant achievement that saw him duly promoted to the premier series the following year riding for the Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha team. Another rider who moved on to higher things after a promising R6 Cup debut is Cal Crutchlow - 2nd to Tommy Hill in 2003 - the 2009 World Supersport Champion currently riding for the Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP team. Tommy's historic R6 Cup winner previously formed part of a private collection before passing to the current vendor in December 2009. There are no documents with this Lot.
- The engine number is J505E-008844