Bill Ballance - Wins 9th GNCC Pro ATV Championship
season I plan to relax a little,” was
the statement Yamaha’s Bill Ballance
made, in a 2007 interview with ATVriders.com,
after winning his eighth consecutive GNCC
Pro Championship. Although a good thought
at the time, Bill’s competitive spirit
took over and proved he had no plans of slowing
down anytime soon after wrapping up his ninth
consecutive GNCC Championship in round 12
of the 13 round series.
Bill Ballance - Quick Facts
||ATV Pro Racer
2008 season started off a bit rocky for Ballance
in the first four rounds, but the Factory
Yamaha YFZ450 ATV racer came back with a vengeance
and won the next three rounds, which brought
him back to the top spot in the points race.
Ballance was looking smooth fast and confident,
but a nasty crash over the summer break, that
left Bill with painful broken ribs, cast a
shadow of doubt over his chances of taking
another championship; however, being the true
champion he is, Ballance overcame his injuries
and showed everyone he was not about to back
with nine consecutive Championships under
his belt, Bill Ballance still has no plans
of relaxing and is looking forward to the
challenge of winning a tenth championship
on the new YFZ450R next season. ATVriders.com
once again had the opportunity to speak with
Bill about his championship, the new YFZ450R
and his future plans with Yamaha.
Bill, I have to start by saying congratulations!
You just won your ninth consecutive GNCC championship.
How does that make you feel?
It feels pretty good! Especially after my
injuries, just winning the race and being
back on the podium was almost as cool as winning
the championship for me.
Bill Ballance lead nearly the entire
race at Powerline Park to secure his
4th Win of the year and his 9th Straight
GNCC Pro ATV Championship, and he celebrated
with his family and crew after the race
because it takes a a team effort and
commitment to win a championship
ATVriders.com: You injured yourself
over the summer break, is that correct?
Yes. It was about a week and a half before
the Snowshoe event. I was out doing some tire
testing and caught a stump and went flipping.
I broke one of my ribs on my side, tore a
bunch of the cartilage in the front, and in
the back, my second rib pulled out of my spine.
Then at Unadilla you had to push and lift
your quad across the finish line with those
injuries that must have been excruciating.
Yeah, it hurt pretty bad. My back still hurts
quite a bit because of that. I think where
I really messed up was that you’re allowed
to get help to get to the finish line, but
you have to cross the finish line under your
own power. The incident with my chain happened
about 75 yards from the finish line and it
was all uphill to get there. The crew and
I were all pushing and doing what we could
do to get there and not lose any more positions
than we had to, and by the time I got to the
finish line, I had exerted so much of my energy
trying to get the bike up there that it took
me a little while to recoup. I watched Borich
and Cook cross the finish line while I was
trying to get my composure. What I should
have done was let the crew push it up the
hill and then took over right before the finish
battling for the lead with Chris Bithell
for the win at Unadilla, Bill Ballance
snapped his chain 75 yards from the
finish line, so Ballance and his crew
had to push his YFZ450 to the finish
line with Ballance pushing it alone
across the finish line to earn a 5th
At the start of the season, Adam McGill was
coming on strong and won three races in a
row. At that point did you ever wonder if
your championship could be in jeopardy?
I knew that there was a definite possibility
we could win, but we had a few problems early
in the season and had some bad luck at a couple
of rounds, so we didn’t really know
for sure if we would be able to. I just tried
to stay focused on one race at a time and
I came back and won three in a row and then
the points changed and we were sitting in
a pretty good spot.
Did those issues at the start of the season
make you push harder?
it definitely made us push harder. I was working
hard and did a lot of training and testing
and we just put everything we had into it.
We just went out there and gave it the best
effort we possibly could and thankfully it
paid off for us.