ATV Competition Heats Up in 2007

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Kawasaki and Suzuki plan to enter the 2007 ATV racing scene with updated crews.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team looks to the all-new 2008 KFX450R sport quad and three experienced riders to bring home a championship. William Yokley will compete in the ATVA/AMA Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series, while Jason Luburgh and ATVA Pro Am Champion Josh Creamer will compete in the second annual World PowerSports Association (WPSA) Series and inaugural All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA)/AMA Pro Series races.

Team Suzuki/Yoshimura will be campaigning the full WPSA PowerSports SuperQuad Pro 450 Series. Defending champ Doug Gust will be heading up the team with new teammate, and 2006 runner-up, Dustin Wimmer. While he heals from injuries, Jeremiah Jones will serve as team coordinator.

Yamaha and Honda sponsored riders in 2006, but not in a way that could be considered "factory rides." 2006 Team Honda riders on the TRX450R were John Natalie, Tim Farr and Joe Byrd. Riding a YFZ450, Bill Balance won his seventh consecutive GNCC ATV championship.

For 2007, Yamaha plans to take part in the ATVA GNC Motocross Series with Pat Brown and Travis Spader, and the GNCC Series with Balance and Traci Cecco. Honda again plans to contest the ATVA GNC Motocross Series with Farr, Natalie and Byrd.

The oldest of the quad race series, the ATVA/AMA GNCC Series, began March 3 at Corrigan Ranch in Vero Beach, Fla., and ends Oct. 27 in Crawfordsville, Ind.

The WPSA Series consists of eight points rounds, starting April 28 with the Southern Open Championship in Georgia and ending Sept. 15 with the Grand Championship National in Fairfield County, S.C.

The AMA Pro Series will be based on motocross-style competition and will feature 450cc machines. An expansion to include a 250cc class is expected for '08. The series has 12 rounds, beginning March 10 at Mill Creek in Pell City, Ala., and ending August 11 at Loretta Lynn's in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. The series will run in conjunction with ATVA events and, according to the AMA, will create a better progression for amateur riders aspiring to become pros.

The WPSA PowerSports ATV Tour will sanction 27 Pro, Pro Am, Youth and Amateur classes. Due to a positive response, the tour has added the Pro SuperSport "UTV" class to its Pro lineup, which also includes the SuperQuad Pro 450 MX and the Pro Stock QuadTerrain Challenge classes.