DAYTONA BEACH, FL – May 20, 2015 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Photos of a Yamaha FZ-07-powered flat track bike have been circulating around for months, but on May 24, at the legendary Springfield Mile, the new power plant is set to make its official AMA Pro Flat Track debut.
Cory Texter will pilot the No. 65 Yamaha Motor USA/DeMay Racing/Memphis Shades/McElroy Packaging FZ-07. It’s a big step forward for the manufacturer, and the sport, as Yamaha hopes to compete in the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines class against the Harley-Davidson XR-750 and Kawasaki EX650 which have been the preeminent weapons of choice in recent years.
“I’m excited about racing the FZ-07 Yamaha at the Springfield Mile,” Texter said. “I like the challenge of being on the only Yamaha in the field.”
The bike was built by veteran Babe DeMay. Texter tested it before the season-opener at Daytona, and while there were kinks to be worked out, the initial reviews were positive.
“The motorcycle was bone stock and we had a few minor issues to work through,” Texter said. “Babe went back to the shop and worked on getting us a few extra ponies for the season, so I am excited to see what he came up with and how the Yamaha stacks up against the proven brands in the sport.”
Texter knows how to get around Springfield fast – he made both mains at Springfield last year. But the first race for the Yamaha is still expected to be a learning experience.
“This will be the first national on this motorcycle,” Texter said. “So I don’t feel like I have any expectations. I am a very competitive person and I obviously want to finish well. I think a top 10 would be a solid result for the first race, but I am hoping for more.”
With the FZ-07 entering the fray, Yamaha stepped up its support of flat track in a big way in 2015. The manufacturer is posting $106,400 in contingency money available to riders in both the GNC1 and GNC2 classes.
Yamaha has a deep tradition in Grand National Championship competition, including 106 total victories. However, the majority of those wins came on road courses, TTs and Short Tracks. Of the Mile and Half-Mile triumphs, Yamaha’s most famous win was in 1975 when Kenny Roberts took the Indy Mile in thrilling fashion on the infamous four-cylinder TZ750.
“I think it’s important that there is a Yamaha out there in the series,” Texter said. “Yamaha has a rich history in the sport with riders such as Kenny Roberts, and it gives fans loyal to the brand something to cheer for.”
It’s the perfect time for Yahama to thrust itself into the flat track limelight. There is a wave of positive momentum around the sport with it being included in the immensely popular action sports showcase, the X Games, and with road racing legend Troy Bayliss running the five Miles on the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule in 2015.
Fans can see how the Yamaha performs, and catch all the action from the Springfield Mile live, in high definition and free of charge at www.FansChoice.tv.