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    Ben Lindbom Yamaha Viper

    For the first time in several years, Yamaha supported riders will be competing in snocross…sort of. As part of its testing ahead of the USXC cross country racing season, Yamaha racers will appear at select early ISOC snocross races this season.

    “We have been working on our new SR Viper RTX race sleds all summer and fall,” says Yamaha Snowmobile Racing’s Eric Josephsen. “Our team has developed a great setup on the new sled with an eye on our primary goal, which is to win the USXC Pro title this season and be a consistent podium finisher in RMSHA. With this new sled, we want to test it in competition before the season gets under way, like a preseason football game. That will let us work out any hiccups before we get to the Pine Lake race.”

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      Aaron Christensen USXCAaron Christensen wrapped up the season finale of the inaugural United States X-Country (USXC) snowmobile racing series in grand style, winning both the Pro Open and Pro 600 classes at the Seven Clans Casino – Warroad 100 in Warroad, Minn.

      The eighth race on the 2012-2013 schedule, the Warroad 100 featured a 10-mile course built along the shores of Lake of the Woods. The short course had ample snow and got extremely rough as the day wore on, challenging riders’ conditioning and suspension setups.

      Christensen (Polaris) started the day off winning the four-lap Speedwerx Pro Open race, posting a time 30 seconds faster than second place Polaris rider Bobby Menne and 44 seconds faster than third place Arctic Cat rider Zach Herfindahl. Arctic Cat rider Wes Selby finished fourth and Yamaha rider Ben Lindbom came in fifth.

      The 10-lap, 100-mile DRIFT Racing Pro 600 race proved to be brutally rough and tested the machines and the riders. Christensen finished atop the time charts again besting Herfindahl by 51 seconds and Menne by over five minutes. Polaris riders Spencer Kadlec and Ryan Faust rounded out the Top 5.

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        Ben Lindbom USXCYamaha snowmobile racers had perhaps their most successful racing weekend of the season as Ben Lindbom clinched a championship with a victory at the USXC finale, while Ty Free and Chad Jorgensen earned four top-five finishes at the RMSHA White Pine Hillclimb.Ben Lindbom Warroad 100

        Lindbom rode his Yamaha Nytro RTX to victory in the 100-mile Semi-Pro Improved event at the USXC Warroad 100 in Warroad, Minn. This was Lindbom’s sixth win of the season in the class – a personal record and also a record for the RTX.

        Lindbom built a massive lead on the rest of the field over 10 laps to score the convincing win. The victory also proved a great confidence builder for the likable Yamaha rider as he moves from Semi-Pro to the Pro ranks next season.

        “This was longest Semi-Pro Improved race of the year, twice as long as any other race this season,” says Brian Strawsell, Yamaha’s racing technical coordinator. “Two hours at race speeds over terrain this bumpy was a great endurance test for the riders – and a fantastic one for the sleds.”

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          Doug Henry X GamesYamaha snowmobiles had a successful Jan. 26-27 race weekend in everything from the snowy X Games in Aspen, Colo. to frigid cross-country competition in Minnesota and Maine.

          Leading the charge for Yamaha was Doug Henry, formerly a motocross champion and now a snowmobiling inspiration, who led most of the X Games SnoCross Adaptive race aboard his FX Nytro RTX before ultimately finishing a close second. In Minnesota, Ben Lindbom won the 50-mile USXC Semi Pro Improved event, while in Maine, Erik Frigon grabbed a strong third in the 20-mile USSC East Pro Open race, both aboard Nytro RTXs.

          Henry rewrote the motocross rulebook when he won the 1998 AMA Motocross title on Yamaha’s YZ400F four-stroke. After suffering a career-ending spinal injury in 2007, he then rewrote the rulebook for handicapped athletes by outfitting a Yamaha snowmobile with a special shock-absorbing seat to race snocross. After taking a bronze in X Games 14, this weekend Henry returned to Aspen and led nearly the entire final aboard his specially outfitted sled before finishing second to Mike Schultz and claiming a silver medal.

          “My Yamaha gave me a great start and put me out front, and after that I just tried to have fun,” says. Henry. “Thanks to Yamaha Snowmobiles for getting me the equipment and to ESPN for putting on the event.”

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            Ryan Simons USXC Oslo 100Arctic Cat continued its dominance of the 2012-13 USXC cross-country snowmobile racing season as Ryan Simons swept the Pro classes at this past weekend’s Oslo 100.

            The weekend was the first ditch race for the circuit and racers battled the clock through ditches that got brutally rough as well as on the Snake and Red Rivers where speed and handling ruled the day.

            Simons set the pace in the first race of the day, the two-lap, 56-mile Speedwerx Pro Open race finishing over a minute ahead of the second place Polaris of Bobby Menne. Polaris rider Aaron Christensen came in third and Arctic Cat rider Brian Dick, who was battling the flu, finished fourth. Simons held the pace later in the day in the DRIFT Racing Pro 600 race. After four laps and a mandatory fuel stop, Simons’ lead was at nearly one minute and 38 seconds over the second place Arctic Cat of Zach Herfindahl. Brian Dick finished third and Polaris rider Spencer Kadlec came in fourth. Kadlec had to borrow the sled of his Pro Women-class teammate Jen Fuller after his sled suffered a mechanical breakdown in the Semi-Pro 600 race.

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