Chris Ulrich has announced that he is retiring from MotoAmerica Superbike competition, effective immediately. Ulrich sat out the two Superbike races at Road Atlanta a week ago Sunday after aggravating a shoulder that has been injured multiple times during the last decade, most recently when he crashed during pre-season testing at COTA. At age 36, Ulrich has been racing for 23 years, including 18 years in the professional ranks with AMA Pro and MotoAmerica.
“My shoulder really bothered me at Road Atlanta and I couldn’t wrestle the bike through the esses and into the corners quickly enough to turn the lap times I’ve done before. To make things worse, my arm was fatiguing after five laps and I was getting behind on the steering,” Ulrich said. “It wasn’t a good situation.
“In the last couple of seasons it hasn’t only been the shoulder, it’s been one injury after another affecting my ability to train, which affected my ability to race. As hard as it was to make the decision, when I withdrew from the races, I realized that I felt relieved.
“It isn’t just the injuries. My heart just isn’t in it anymore. The added responsibilities that I have taken on with Team Hammer and the M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki program have made it more and more difficult to concentrate on racing a Superbike. It became very clear to me that as much as I have loved racing since I was a kid, it just isn’t something that I need to be doing right now.
“My racing future is in team management. What I need to do now is help my family’s team continue to focus on what it has always done well: Building fast Superstock and Supersport bikes and scouting, recruiting and developing talented young riders to put those bikes on the podium.
“I also look forward to continuing to help promote the MotoAmerica series by doing pre-race two-up Superbike rides for the media. They’re just a couple of laps long, and involve rolling the bike smoothly into the corners. I can still do that; you don’t want to be throwing the bike into the turns with a passenger.
“I am very thankful that I was able to race professionally for as long as I have and to learn as much as I have about the racing business. I am also thankful that racing has allowed me to meet so many great people from all over the world. See you at the track!”
Chris Ulrich has won AMA Pro National races, finished in the top five in points, and stood on Pro race podiums 10 times, as well as co-riding to the Overall WERA National Endurance Championship four times. He has a wife, Jamie, and two young children, Van and Ava, and lives in Lake Elsinore, California.