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Yamaha’s Ballance, Cecco and Ockerman Dominate at Ironman
Cecco Takes Record Seventh Women’s Title with Thrilling Win at GNCC Finale

CYPRESS, Calif. – October 27, 2008 – Team Yamaha Factory Racers dominated the Grand National Cross Country Championship (GNCC) ATV field in Crawfordsville, Ind., this past weekend with Bill Ballance celebrating his record ninth consecutive ATV XC1 Pro championship, Donnie Ockerman enjoying his 2008 GNCC XC2 Pro Am championship, and Traci Cecco capturing her unprecedented seventh Women’s ATV championship.

Both Ballance and Ockerman had their titles wrapped up coming into the weekend, so the big news was the heated women’s race.  Cecco entered the weekend’s event with a single series point lead and a win would secure her title.  That’s just what she produced after pushing her YFZ450 through tough, cold, muddy trails.

This was a special win for Cecco, not only for her seventh title but also for the year’s heated competition.  She fought back emotion on the podium while describing her win and season as: “… the hardest championship ever.”  As the end of the season approached, Traci had predicted she would need to win the final four GNCC stops to capture the series title again this year, and that’s exactly what happened – an impressive accomplishment in itself.

Ballance continues to be considered by many as the best ATV racer of all time, now with nine consecutive professional championships.  He had secured the ATV XC1 Pro championship two weeks before the Ironman but still raced hard swapping the lead several times before finishing third on the day just behind teammate Donnie Ockerman.

Ockerman, who had wrapped up the 2008 GNCC XC2 Pro Am championship two stops earlier, raced the professional class again this weekend and showed he’s ready for prime time.  He battled with the leaders all race and finished in an amazing second place.

Brandon Sommers, last year’s XC2 Pro Am champion, finished sixth in the Ironman and fifth overall in this year’s XC1 Pro class.

Yamaha representatives were on hand to support their race team and the GNCC series, which attracted approximately 10,000 spectators to the Ironman Finale.  Yamaha celebrated its weekend of championships with fans at the Yamaha hospitality area handing out free popcorn, hot chocolate and commemorative Bill Ballance nine-time championship T-shirts.  Yamaha employees also joined Ballance and Cecco on the podium congratulating them with special trophies for their unprecedented accomplishments.

About Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.
Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), a leader in the motorsports market, makes the toughest, most capable and versatile ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles. The company’s ever-expanding product offerings also include motorcycles, outboard motors, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, boats, outdoor power equipment, race kart engines, accessories, apparel and much more. YMUS products are sold through a nationwide network of more than 4,000 dealers in the United States.

Headquartered in Cypress, Calif., since its incorporation in 1977, YMUS also has facilities in Wisconsin and Georgia, as well as factory operations in Tennessee and Georgia. For more information on Yamaha, visit

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