Unfortunately for Yamaha, it was more of a sign for the other three major manufacturers in the 250 class. Strangely, since that special night in Las Vegas in ’97, Yamaha has failed to get another win with their premier-class four-stroke in AMA Supercross competition, which is hard to believe. They’ve had a big-bore four-stroke longer than any other manufacturer, starting with their revolutionary YZ400F from 1997-’99, then the YZ426F from 2000-’03, and the YZ450F from 2003 until now.
Fortunately, although the Yamaha YZ450F is currently in a dry spell, the future looks good with Chad Reed in the saddle. He is currently 13 points behind leader Ricky Carmichael approaching the second half of the season, which is when Reed has traditionally been at his best. So while Yamaha may not have won an AMA stadium race on its 450 in a decade – Jimmy Button won the Washougal 250 National on August 1, 1999 – if Reed finds that next gear and gets the upper hand on RC and Stewart, 2006 might bring more than just a win for the men in blue.