Eight and counting.
Bill Ballance re-wrote the history books of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series with his eighth straight championship, an all-time record.
Ballance rode his Yamaha to victory in the season-ending Ironman in Crawfordsville, Ind. on Oct. 27, 2007 to secure the championship.
“It hasn’t even hardly sunk in yet,” says Ballance. “When I first started this years ago, I was just hoping to be a top ten rider. To win eight in a row, I can't even believe it.”
Ballance only needed to finish 12th in the finale to win his eighth GNCC crown.
“I'm just so happy, we weren’t even trying to win this one, we were trying to take it easy and make sure we didn’t have problems with the bike, and things started happening and we ended up in the lead,” says Ballance.
Chris Borich, who was fighting with Ballance for the championship, started off strong by winning the ITP Holeshot Award. Unfortunately, Borich ran into some trouble with two laps left and dropped to fifth.
Matt Smiley and Adam McGill were battling Ballance for the Ironman win. McGill charged passed Smiley on the last lap and actually got in front of Ballance in the final mile. Ballance, however, managed to get back in front to pick up the win and his eighth straight championship.
“We got so many fast guys out there riding these days, and factory support and everything is coming, everyone is taking it so seriously now, and spending so much time riding and training,” says Ballance. “Things like bike setup are a lot closer than they used to be.”
Yamaha also picked up a win in women’s class. Traci Cecco, who started on the fourth row, fought through the field to win the race and the women’s championship.