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Jun 28, 2001

Tough Day For Roadracingworld.com's Chris Ulrich At VIR

Roadracingworld.com's Chris Ulrich had a tough day Thursday when he was hit from behind in a practice session at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia and crashed hard, virtually destroying his GSX-R750 as well as hitting his head and scraping his signature custom-painted helmet. Ulrich was on his out lap when he was hit. According to eyewitnesses Mike Ciccotto and John Haner, who had followed Ulrich out of the pits, Ulrich was completely innocent.

Ulrich was hit by Synergy Racings' Marc Palazzo, who said the collision was not his fault, explaining "He (Ulrich) slowed down a lot more than I expected him to" at the entrance to a corner.

Ulrich said, "I was out there minding my own business and taking it easy on my first lap and the next thing I know I'm in the air because the guy rammed me from behind, and my bike ghost-rode into the wall. And my head hurts."

The collision and subsequent crash destroyed the bodywork and air ducting on Ulrich's bike and bent the frame, front wheel, front discs, rear disc, rear brake caliper mount bracket, lower triple clamp and steering stem, and front axle. The radiator was also broken, the exhaust system smashed flat and bent; controls on both sides of the bike were broken off as well. Ulrich's new roadracingworld.com leathers were also damaged.

Palazzo's Honda CBR929RR suffered relatively minor damage in the collision.

Ulrich was at VIR to instruct in Team Hammer Advanced Riding School sessions and to learn the track. He flew out Thursday night for Portland, Oregon, where he is scheduled to compete in a WERA National Endurance Series 6-hour on Saturday with Mark Junge on a Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R1000.