Yamaha has announced its 2010 ATV race teams. Returning to defend Yamaha’s 2009 Manufacturer’s Cup in the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series are Bill Ballance, Traci Cecco, Brandon Sommers, Taylor Kiser and Walker Fowler. In the motocross world, Thomas Brown will compete in the ATVA/AMA National Motocross pro series, and Dustin Nelson returns to defend his Yamaha/ITP QuadCross Championship while also competing in the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS).
"This is the first full year of racing for the YFZ450X, and the YFZ450R returns to defend its crown after taking an MX championship in 2009," said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV Marketing Manager. "We are proud to support the sport of ATV racing in its many venues. It will be exciting to see these teams and the two high-performance YFZs battle it out in their respective off-road environments."
Yamaha’s 2010 ATV Race Teams include:
Bill Ballance, the record holding nine-time GNCC XC1 Pro champion, is returning to attempt to recapture his title in 2010 after a fourth place overall finish last year. He continues to lead Yamaha’s ATV cross country efforts with more than a decade of winning experience that has gained him wide respect as the best ATV racer of all time. In addition to racing, Ballance will manage the Ballance Racing team, which also includes Kiser and Fowler. Ballance races the YFZ450X.
Traci Cecco is another GNCC record holder with seven GNCC Women’s titles. She finished second overall in the Women’s Class last year, and is poised to top the podium again in 2010. Cecco races the YFZ450X.
Walker Fowler will represent Yamaha in the GNCC’s XC2 class this year after winning the 2009 College A class and earning a top 20 XC1 finish at last year’s GNCC Ironman finale. Fowler races the YFZ450X.
Taylor Kiser is back on a Yamaha in 2010 after capturing the second overall spot in last year’s XC1 class and earning the series’ Most Improved Rider Award. Kiser races the YFZ450X.
Brandon Sommers captured the GNCC XC2 class championship in 2007 and moved up to the XC1 class in 2008. He finished an impressive fifth place in his first XC1 Pro season and again in 2009. Sommers races the YFZ450X.
Thomas Brown is in his second year on Team Yamaha having won the ATVA/AMA National Motocross Pro-am Championship in 2008 and finishing tenth in the pro class in 2009 earning him the Pro Rookie of the Year award. Brown races the YFZ450R.
Dustin Nelson is a three-time Yamaha/ITP QuadCross MX Pro Class champion having captured two consecutive titles the past two years. He is also competing in the WORCS series this year. Besides being a top ATV MX racer, Nelson is a veteran Yamaha test rider and was very involved in the development of the YFZ450R, which he is racing again this year.
In addition to the 2010 race team, Yamaha has increased its fan appreciation activities throughout the Yamaha/ITP QuadCross series with discounted tickets at Yamaha dealers ($5 off admission) and free race entries to any pro racer maintaining a current top 10 standing aboard a Yamaha ATV.