Yamaha was in the power position heading into the Soo International 500 snowmobile race in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. on Saturday, February 5. For the first time ever, a Yamaha snowmobile earned the pole for the brutal 500-mile long event when Joel Diamond of J&M Racing drove his RX-1 to a sizzling 93.63-mph qualifying lap.
Diamond and co-driver Gordie Postula were strong in the early part of the race, then the Mike Gentz Racing/Meyers Enterprises Yamaha driven by Mike Gentz and Brady Dyrdahl moved into the lead for 54 circuits of the one-mile ice course. Still another Yamaha, the Todd Krikke/Chad Gueco Pierce Racing machine, led the most laps overall, and looked strong until Gueco began to fade from physical exhaustion late in the race.
Meanwhile the Gentz/Dyrdahl machine continued to click off fast laps; running with failed radio communications, Gentz was unaware that as the checkered flag loomed, he was running in second place – just 29 seconds behind the eventual winner. Krikke and Gueco eventually finished a fine third.
Congratulations to all the Yamaha teams for a great effort!