Press Release –
The Yamaha Factory Snocross team and its new FX Nytro® race sleds made their debut performance at the opening round of the WPSA Snocross series, the Amsoil Duluth National Snocross in Duluth, MN, Nov. 23-25.
Pro riders Steve Taylor of Prince George, BC and Yuji Nakazawa from Shizuoka, Japan were joined by Swedish National Snocross champ, Johan Eriksson, who was flown in from Sweden to fill in for injured Semi-Pro Cory Davis.
The first round of the season is a test for any team and the Yamaha Factory Snocross crew was kept busy making adjustments and finalizing setup.
“We want to showcase our high performance four-stroke engine and develop its capability under National-level snocross racing,” said Yamaha Factory Snocross Team Manager Greg Marier. “Not only have we been working on four-stroke power potential but also on developing the chassis and suspension around that four-stroke power.”
Steve Taylor is pleased with his first outing on the FX Nytro racer in national-caliber competition. “I went 4-3-4, and if I had a third in the last one I would have went right into the final but I had to go to the LCQ,” he said. “The course was gnarly, that’s the only way I can put it. No enormous holes, but there were lots of square-edged kickers everywhere and I saw people fighting them all day. I’ve been working with Fox Racing®, and our suspension gets better all the time.”
Things looked good going into the LCQ, where Taylor was in a good position to make the transfer until a drive axle sprocket spun on its shaft causing a crash that put him out of the race. “This was a really good day…besides the crash,” Taylor says.
Taylor is tough, and Marier says “I’m really impressed with Steve’s conditioning. He’s in top-notch shape, and he’s really shown that he has what it takes this weekend. Despite the challenges, Steve still came out of the weekend with 32 points.”
“Everybody worked really hard to keep the team moving forward and we had some decent results,” said a very-stoked Taylor after the races. “This engine hauls! They have that thing working really well and it doesn’t miss a beat. The weight isn’t too far off the two-strokes and though I’m not a big guy I don’t have trouble throwing it around. We’ll be good to go for testing and regional races over the next few weeks before the next national, and things will just keep getting better!”
Johan Eriksson has been racing sleds for 14 years, and was very happy to get some time on the new sled before his own season starts in Europe this January.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to come over here and meet the team and race the new four-stroke,” says Eriksson. “I’m not used to the suspension and handling yet, but we are making adjustments and the sled keeps getting better with each race. I finished 5-2-5 in Semi-Pro Open. As far as the motor goes, nothing beats it! Unbelievable!”
Eriksson is a tall rider (6’ 5”), and Marier says the team has been busy making ergonomic changes including a taller seat and handlebars that will undoubtedly help put the Swede up front in coming weeks.