Seth Hammaker made an announcement on his Instagram yesterday that he’s going to be sitting out his final year of competition at the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship. The Team Green Kawasaki rider was slated to compete at the Ranch for the last time as a part of the world’s largest amateur motocross event, but he recognized that things weren’t right back in June after his Regional Qualifier. Although Hammaker earned his tickets to Loretta Lynn’s in both Open Pro Sport and 250 Pro Sport with two 3rd place overall results, he didn’t feel quite like himself throughout the motos that weekend. The typical hard-charging style and late-race pace that he’s become well known for over the last few years wasn’t there and he didn’t have the same intensity that he’s normally able to bring to the racetrack. Hammaker returned home to Pennsylvania and was diagnosed with Epstien-Barr Virus, which is fairly common amongst motocross athletes, and is focusing on being fully prepared for the 2021 professional season. Hammaker has been contracted to the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team for a few year’s time after signing with Team Green following his lone Loretta Lynn Championship back in 2016. He was initially going to make his professional debut in the 250SX East Monster Energy Supercross series in 2019, but an untimely slew of shoulder injuries derailed his plans and pushed him back to another year in the A class. It’s incredibly unfortunate timing yet again as Hammaker had finally returned to the gate after missing the majority of the 2019 season in fine form. The Kawasaki rider won titles at  Daytona RCSX and Spring A Ding Ding to commence his 2020 racing campaign and it’s a shame he won’t be able to give his amateur career the send off it deserves. Nonetheless, he’s remaining optimistic and looking forward to his professional debut in 2021. Here’s what Seth himself had to say about the decision to sit this year out:

“Hello everyone, with Loretta’s coming up I wanted to provide you with an update on why I unfortunately won’t be racing. After the Spring Nationals in March when everything shut down, my focus had been on being ready to compete in the outdoor nationals when the time came and to accomplish my goals of winning at Loretta Lynn’s to finish off my amateur career. At the end of May, I all of a sudden began feeling very weak and fatigued which made it difficult to continue with my riding and training. I raced my regional qualifier the first week of June to make sure I had a spot for Loretta’s but immediately returned home to Pennsylvania to get some answers. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Virus, but the good news was that we caught it early and I did not continue wearing my body down. I’ve been at home recovering and making progress to overcome the virus in order to get better as quickly as possible. It’s disappointing to miss racing Loretta Lynn’s, but as I look towards my transition to professional racing in 2021, I know it’s more important to make the right choices now and make sure I’m ready to give it my best effort. I appreciate the support from Kawasaki and Pro Circuit in helping me make this decision and looking out for my future. I want to say good luck to my Team Green teammates and friends racing at Loretta’s. Can’t wait to get back at it and see everyone at the races.”