Yamaha Announces 2008 ATV Factory Race Team

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CYPRESS, Calif. — Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. is proud to announce its 2008 ATV Factory race team.

Yamaha's sponsored riders include Bill Ballance, Traci Cecco, Brandon Sommers, Pat Brown and Dustin Nelson. The team was announced with many of the members on-hand today at the 2008 Team Yamaha Race Day at Yamaha's U.S. headquarters in Cypress , California.

"Yamaha has the most talented group of riders in the country, from our long-time, record-breaking racers like Bill and Traci to our new generation of champions like Brandon and Pat," said Keith McCarty, Yamaha's racing division manager. "Our team and the success they continue to enjoy on the YFZ450, whether on a cross country or motocross track, are a testament to Yamaha?s commitment to racing excellence in the machines we build and the competitors we support."

Bill Balance returns for another year as a Yamaha team racer. Ballance captured a record-breaking eighth Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) XC1 title this year and has been called the best ATV racer of all time. He will return to GNCC in an attempt to break his own record with a ninth title in 2008.

Traci Cecco returned for another year with Yamaha after winning her unprecedented sixth women's GNCC title in 2007. A true champion, Cecco captured her series title long before the culminating GNCC Ironman event, but still hammered on the final course finishing first over all in the morning race.

Brandon Sommers, who captured the 2007 GNCC XC2 class championship by winning 10 of 13 rounds, and who also finished fourth in the final two rounds of the XC1 class, has signed with Yamaha for the first time in 2008.

Pat Brown has signed for 2008 with Yamaha after finishing the 2007 AMA Pro ATV Motocross Championship in third place as well as becoming the 2007 AMA ATV Open Champion at the inaugural event held at the Steel City event in Delmont, Penn. Brown has big plans to build on the momentum from this dominating performance moving into the 2008 racing season.

Dustin Nelson, the reigning Yamaha/ITP QuadCross Champion in the MX Pro Class, is returning for his second year and will focus on regaining his Championship in the Quadcross series and select events throughout the 2008 season. Injured for part of the 2007 season, Nelson is fully recovered and racing hard again as he moves into 2008.

Yamaha recently announced the 2008 YFZ450 — the latest version of the leading high-performance 450-class sport ATV, which is ridden by all Yamaha Factory race team members. The YFZ450 continues to capture championships and is a tough and capable vehicle in a variety of racing situations — from cross country trails to motocross tracks. For more information see yamaha-motor.com.