Press Release –
Traci Cecco Leads Women’s Series Going into Season Finale
Yamaha Factory ATV Racer Bill Ballance secured his record-breaking ninth consecutive Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) ATV XC1 Pro championship aboard his Yamaha YFZ450 in St. Clairsville, Ohio, on Saturday afternoon, October 11.
In true championship style, Ballance locked in his series title by finishing first in Saturday’s race – his fourth win of the season.
Another Yamaha champion, Traci Cecco, kept herself on top of the women’s series with her sixth win of the season this past weekend.
Cecco, who has also won the past six women’s championship titles, leads the women’s division again this year by a point heading into the GNCC Ironman, the series finale schedule for October 25 in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
Continuing the big news for Yamaha from this past weekend, Donnie Ockerman, the recently crowned 2008 GNCC XC2 Pro Am champion, advanced to the XC1 Pro class and finished second behind Ballance – an impressive feat in his first pro race.
The long cross-country course at Ohio’s Powerline Park was wide open and fast, with plenty of dusty fields and hill-climbs, and the occasional mud-hole to stymie the riders.
With the XC1 Pro championship his for the claiming, Ballance was on a mission, firing his YFZ450 quickly to the front, swapping the lead with Ockerman early in the almost two-hour race, and then checking out from the pack to win by 50 seconds over Ockerman, who strongly maintained second on another Yamaha YFZ450.
“Yamaha congratulates Bill for another historic win,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS marketing manager. “His dominance proves how tough he is mentally and physically, and the way he wins – with poise and character – is truly something special. Yamaha is excited to support Bill in another record-breaking year, and we’re proud that he continues to rewrite the record books riding a YFZ450.”
The morning Women’s race proved even more suspenseful as Cecco fought not only for the race win, but also for the championship.
Aboard her own YFZ450, Cecco took the lead early and held it for all four laps, while also scoring the overall win ahead of all other ATV classes in the event. Cecco is now on track to win her seventh championship at the series’ final round.
“Traci is another example of a truly dominant competitor, and we are excited to see her head into the Ironman with a points series lead,” Nessl said. “Yamaha will be there in full force to cheer on Traci and the rest of the racing team.”