Bill Ballance - 8 Time GNCC Pro ATV Champion
Bill Ballance made history at the 2007 Can-Am
GNCC in Indiana by winning his eighth consecutive
Pro Championship. Ballance pulled off five wins
and managed a podium finish at every race for
the 2007 season. A close points battle with
Chris Borich didn’t deter the champion
one bit either, it only seemed to fuel the fire
for Ballance who appeared to push even harder
under the pressure.
Bill Ballance - Quick Facts
||ATV Pro Racer
to that already existing pressure from Borich,
this past season was filled with controversy
for Bill, but he didn’t allow it to
get the better of him or let it get in the
way of his goal for the championship. In fact,
Bill showed us what it means to be a true
competitor and a true champion on and off
the track by just rolling with the punches.
Bill’s professionalism and positive
attitude through it all only adds to the admiration
and respect he has earned through the years
in this sport.
had the opportunity to speak candidly with
Bill shortly after winning the championship.
Bill cleared the air for us about the controversial
frame changes that were made to his bike during
the season, what really happened out on the
track in Ohio with Chris Borich, and what
his future plans are in the racing industry.
ATVriders.com: What were your thoughts
going into the 2007 season with seven championships
already under your belt?
I put a lot more pressure on myself this year
than I probably ever have. I knew that I had
the opportunity to win eight. The competition
was stiffer than it had ever been, and I knew
that I had to be on top of my game to make
it happen. I put a lot of pressure on myself
and trained harder than I ever have and focused
a lot on bike setup.
was a big controversy about your frame at
the beginning of the season when you changed
the a-arm pivot point, which was done according
to the rules. How did that controversy affect
I caught a lot of flack from a lot of people
about that, and I was really just the middleman
in all of that.
testing purposes, Bill Ballance altered
the YFZ450 frame and moved the two lower
frame rails together, which changed
the A-Arms pivot point
was Yamaha’s reasoning behind changing
We had been testing a lot of new products
all year and Yamaha wanted to do some testing
with the pivot point on the A-arms and they
felt that the only way they could truly test
the change was to race with it. Honda was
already making changes to the rear end of
the 450r and testing it on the track, so Yamaha’s
outlook was that if Honda is already doing
this then we can do some testing of our own.
the frame modifications make a difference
in your performance on the track?
You can go back and look at the results and
see that I won the same amount of races on
the changed frame as I did on the OEM frame,
so I think it was pretty much a wash.
you stopped running the altered frame midway
through the season?
It was a lot of work to tear down all the
bikes, do the alterations, and then put them
all back together again. After the break we
went back to running the OEM frame.
Ballance kicked off the 2007 GNCC season
with wins in Florida & Georgia
the changes to your frame were basically part
of a bigger picture to allow Yamaha to make
improvements on future models for their customers?
It was a way for Yamaha to do first hand testing
on the track to better their product for future
customers. It wasn’t an attempt for
me to make any gains on the track. A lot of
people didn’t see it as that and they
thought we were putting together a “cheater”
frame and that Racer Productions was playing
along and letting me enhance my bike which
really wasn’t the case.
you think that all of that testing helped
or was it a hindrance?
If I had to look back on it I would say that
it hurt me more than it helped me because
there were some things we tested that were
good and some things we tested that weren’t
as good. There were times I would show up
at the race and I would have new suspension
that I only had 2-3 hours of testing on, and
we were trying different stuff from race to
all of the changes and testing that you went
through with your bike all season, you still
managed to consistently have a podium finish.
How did you manage to do that?
Ballance finished on the Podium every
single race of the season with of a
total of six overall wins
Basically when we go to a race with a new
bike or new product, we do as much testing
before hand as possible so that I am familiar
with what the bike is going to do. I also
train hard and I am dedicated to doing the
best that I can at every race. I think all
of my years racing and my experience on the
track helps a lot. I think it all boils down
to no matter what your riding, your experience
and knowledge of what to do is the biggest