Yamaha Factory ATV Race Team Readies for 2009
Teams Kickoff First Full Season on the All-New,
CYPRESS, Calif. – February 24, 2009 –
Yamaha’s ATV race team is in final preparations
for the 2009 race season and will enter a number
of the top ATV racing series, including GNCC,
QuadCross, WORCS and AMA MX, over the next two
weekends. This is the first season that
each Yamaha race team member will compete atop
the all-new and highly-anticipated YFZ450R.
Many of Yamaha’s ATV race team members were
introduced last fall, but there have been a few
additions to the team that have not yet been
formally announced. Members not yet
announced include: Johnny Gallagher, a seasoned
veteran who has spent years working with the
Yamaha factory team on the GNCC circuit; Donnie
Ockerman, the 2008 GNCC XC2 Pro-Am champion;
Thomas Brown, the 2008 ATVA/AMA National Pro-Am
Motocross champ; and Justin Noss, winner of the
inaugural season of the 2008 QuadCross 250cc
unlimited class on his Raptor 250.
Yamaha’s factory riders announced last fall
Bill Ballance, the nine-time consecutive Grand
National Cross Country (GNCC) XC1 Pro series
champion and widely considered the best ATV
racer of all time. Ballance suffered a rib
injury last year and had to undergo surgery in
the off-season. The injury and resulting
surgery interrupted his pre-season training, but
in true championship-fashion Ballance will be
back to chase his 10th consecutive title at the
GNCC opener in Florida this coming weekend.
Ballance is from Smiths Grove, Ky., and runs the
Traci Cecco, the unprecedented seven-time GNCC
womens’ title holder and veteran Yamaha race
team member. Cecco, who lives in Shamokin,
Penn., and runs #201, will return to try to
break her own record in 2009.
Brandon Sommers, the 2007 GNCC XC2 class
champion, placed fifth last year in his first go
at the XC1 class. Sommers, #784, is back
in XC1 for 2009 racing out of Millersburg, Ohio.
Pat Brown, 2008 Montreal Supercross champ and a
top competitor for Yamaha in the AMA pro ATV
motocross series. Brown is from Pittstown,
N.J., and runs the #99 plate.
Dustin Nelson, two-time Yamaha/ITP Quadcross MX
Pro Class champion. Nelson was the first
Yamaha Team rider to race the YFZ450R at the end
of last year when he took the holeshot and won a
Quadcross moto at Glen Helen en route to his
2008 series title. Nelson lives in Ramona,
Calif., and runs #94.
Yamaha race team bios are available at:
and more information on the new YFZ450R is
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