M4 LOXY Suzuki’s Caroline Olsen has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing round at Virginia International Raceway. The 2011 Norwegian Superstock 600 champion is still recuperating after suffering a concussion in a crash less than two weeks back at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Olsen attempted to ride in the Friday morning free practice but quickly established that she was not yet fit enough to compete.
“I’m really bummed about not being able to ride this weekend,” Olsen said. “New Jersey was a rough weekend, and I was looking forward to rebounding at VIR.
“However, in Sunday’s crash at New Jersey I hit my head pretty hard, and I’ve been struggling a little bit with a concussion ever since. We had a game plan to go here and try to ride today and make an evaluation after that. But after the first session this morning, I realized that I had to be smart about it. My head still isn’t 100% and it was difficult to focus. This sport is all about speed and adrenaline and you’re always on the limit. You have to be completely fit — not just your body but especially your head. That’s something you just can’t compromise.”
Team Hammer and Olsen will continue to monitor her recovery and remain hopeful she will be able to return to action as early as Round 5, to be held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on June 3-5.
Olsen said, “I was really looking forward to getting on the bike this weekend. My crew fixed up my bike perfectly following New Jersey, so it’s really disappointing to not to be able to take advantage of their hard work this weekend. I’ve never been here before but the track looks fun. But now I’ve got to look forward. I’ll be going back to Norway next week, so it’ll be nice to be able to go home and recharge.
“Everyone has been really, really supportive. They only want what’s best for me, and I want to thank them all. I’m really lucky to have a great group of people behind me. My team, my sponsors, my mechanic Sean, and coach Jason Pridmore always have my back and make sure I’m making smart decisions. I now have a few weeks to rest up and come back strong at Road America.”
This year marks Team Hammer’s 36th consecutive season of operating as a professional road racing team. During that time, racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 60 AMA Pro National races, have finished on AMA Pro National podiums 144 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships (the most recent in 2012), as well as two FIM South American championships. The team has also won 133 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and won 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running “Methanol Monster” GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won the F-USA Championship four times.