Press Release –
Spring was in the air at Horseshoe Resort, near Barrie, Ontario, April 5/6. Sunny skies and 50 degree temperatures greeted racers at the CSRA Season Finale, where large numbers of spectators witnessed Steve Taylor and Steve Martin put their Yamaha FXNytro® four-strokes to good use on the high speed course.
Laid out on the side of a ski hill, the long fast uphills and warm weather created challenges for all the teams.
“We had to do a lot of recalibrating to tune for these conditions,” says Yamaha Factory Snocross Team Manager Greg Marier. “Horseshoe is the kind of track we don’t normally encounter at U.S Nationals. This track featured an uphill section that was the longest I have seen on a sno cross course, and that was followed by a tricky serpentine section on the down hill side. The sleds reached the highest speeds we’ve ever seen during a race!”
The spring-like conditions and the full spectator area made Horseshoe a great place for Yamaha to showcase four-stroke performance to the Canadian market.
Third and second place finishes in Saturday’s qualifiers set the stage for a victory in Sunday’s qualifier, where Taylor got the holeshot and never looked back as the two-stroke competition fought to keep up.
“The track on Saturday was kind of hard and icy, but on Sunday it softened up and was really good,” Taylor describes. “They had a long uphill where you were absolutely wide open for five seconds or more, way longer than any other track. One of the big advantages is that the four-stroke engine has lots of bottom end, never quits pulling and has lots of power on top. It’s really nice pulling up to the starting line knowing that the four-stroke power delivers one of the fastest sleds and that you’re going to get a good start. We could pull everyone up that hill! I got third in my first qualifier because me and Iain Hayden were battling and I blew off the track in one of the corners. In the second qualifier Hayden and I were at it again, and then in the third qualifier we were at it again but I beat him in that one.” Martin was also enjoying the track and using the FXNytro to its fullest, saying “That track was amazing! That uphill…well our sleds were going so fast at the top it was unbelievable! If I was 30 feet behind someone I could pass them going up that hill.”
Those great rides meant good starting positions in Sunday’s 15-lap final, which Taylor and Martin used to their advantage to power their way into turn one.
“Racing in Canada was awesome,” says Martin. “I’m really glad to be a part of this weekend. This is the best I’ve ridden and the best the sled has worked for me this season. I pulled the holeshot in the main before Steve passed me up the hill because I didn’t get a good run at it. It was great having Steve and I go flying up that hill in first and second!”
That long, steep uphill and the FXNytro’s superior power helped Taylor set the pace. “Taylor led for about half the race until he got caught in a bad line and Hayden got by him,” explained Marier. “Taylor closed the gap but just ran out of time.”
Taylor kept the pressure on Hayden to finish second, a great performance on a very demanding race course! “I led for about half way until I made a couple little mistakes and Hayden passed me,” describes Taylor. “With about three laps to go I put on a hard charge and caught right up but just couldn’t get around him in time.”
For Taylor, this is the fifth main-event podium for him and his FXNytro this season.
Martin was also running strong until bad luck put him out of what looked to be another Yamaha podium finish. As Marier states, “Martin looked the best ever on the sled.
He was running strong and putting pressure on the third place position, and he still had plenty of racing left. Unfortunately, his sled had a mechanical problem and Steve was out.”
The Yamaha Factory Snocross Team is spending the week testing in the area, using the great weather and plentiful snow in Canada to their advantage.
“This is a great event up here at the end of the season and it’s a thrill to see our four-strokes excel,” says Marier. “Now we’re going to start testing and development for next season!”
Taylor and Martin are both happy to be in Canada testing after a great weekend of racing. “It was awesome!” exclaimed Taylor. “This has been such a fun weekend! They had a rhythm section that was my favorite part of the track, but the whole track was great and there were tons of spectators.” Martin agrees and says “We’re testing but we got to groom the track ourselves today and build some new jumps and stuff, so it’s also a lot of fun! It’s beautiful up here, the weather is unbelievable and the facility is great. Every time I’m on the track on my Yamaha I feel like I’m playing!”