Team Hammer, Inc. is thrilled to announce the signing of top prospect Sam Lochoff to contest the 2021 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing series. The 18-year-old South African will step up to MotoAmerica Supersport competition in 2021 aboard a Team Hammer built M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600.
Lochoff turned heads by landing on the podium in his MotoAmerica debut in 2019, finishing third in the Junior Cup season-opener. Following an abbreviated rookie season in 2019, Lochoff made his presence felt in 2020, earning 13 podium finishes — including five runner-up finishes — en route to an overall third-place ranking in the 2020 Junior Cup standings.
His recent MotoAmerica achievements are just the latest in a string of accolades the teenager has packed into a very short time frame. His racing career kicked off less than five years back, the first year of which was dedicated primarily to four wheels. Once he switched his focus to motorcycle sport, the Cape Town native quickly racked up a pair of regional championships in his home country before graduating to the international scene.
In 2018, he stormed to the title in both the Alpe Adria International Motorcycle and FIM Supersport 300 European Championships, while getting his first taste of world championship competition in FIM World Supersport 300.
Looking ahead to 2021, Lochoff said, “I’ve always attempted to join the most professional and accomplished teams possible. I did a lot of research on the history of Team Hammer before signing this contract, and I’m convinced this is the best team I’ve ever been lucky enough to race for. I think this is going to be the year where I prove to myself that I can really make a career out of racing.”
Lochoff has dug deep to find speed. “Early last year, I found myself in the pack battling for fifth through 13th, 40 seconds behind the leader. After that, I said, ‘We can’t do this anymore — I have to find something.’ That’s when I really started training and focusing. After that I closed the gap down to 16 seconds, and then eight, and by the end of the year, I was battling for the win.”
Lochoff expects to continue his learning curve in 2021. “I don’t expect to come out and win straightaway in my first Supersport race. I plan to make the same kind of steady progress, and work my way into contention.”
About Team Hammer
The 2021 season will mark Team Hammer’s 41st consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 108 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 291 times, and have won nine AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships (in Superbike and Supersport). The team has also won 137 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 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 four F-USA titles.