Three days, countless laps, late nights, and a wealth of information is how to best describes Yamaha’s return to the track at the ISOC National Snocross in Duluth, MN, last weekend.
With laser focus on the forthcoming United States X-Country (USXC) series and a hopeful year-end pro championship, Yamaha descended upon the grueling Duluth track with one thing on their mind…knowledge.
While it may seem unconventional to prepare for the cross-country season at a national snocross race, the wealth of information and tuning improvements the team garnered from the weekend of “real-world” competition was unprecedented.
“You really can’t duplicate a true race situation in practice, no matter how hard the drivers push,” said Yamaha Snowmobile Racing Manager, Eric Josephsen. “Racers are wired different from the rest of us, and when faced with real competition, they push harder than they ever will in a test situation.”
The Yamaha team logged countless laps in the Pro Open ranks, going up against the best snocross riders in the world. By weekend’s end, the team had developed and tested new fuel and ignition mapping for improved holeshots and acceleration; clutching improvements; countless suspension tweaks for when the team encounters nasty ditch-line terrain later this winter; and specific ergonomic improvements for all three riders.
“The weekend was a huge success for us,” said Josephsen. “We came out of Duluth with more improvements and information than we could have ever imagined going in.”
One key attribute the team learned immediately after tangling with the huge bumps and full contact rubbing of national snocross is how incredibly durable the new Viper is.
“The sled is super tough,” said Eric. “Everyone on the team is looking forward to Pine Lake.”
The USXC series kicks off December 14-15, in Gonvick, Minnesota.