Anthony Norton will substitute for the injured Brandon Paasch at Road Atlanta. Photo courtesy of Altus Motorsports.
Altus Motorsports has announced that veteran team owner, noted tuner, and expert technician Mike Pond has joined the team as crew chief. The announcement was made by Altus Motorsports team owner George Nassaney.
Pond succeeds former Altus crew chief Eric Gray, who recently passed away. “We are extremely lucky to bring Mike Pond on board,” Nassaney said. “Losing Eric was a massive blow, but Pond’s arrival will ensure that the team’s performance remains at the highest level.”
Pond will spearhead the Altus Motorsports’ Stock 1000 and Supersport programs.
In addition, Nassaney has announced that rider Anthony Norton will fill in for Brandon Paasch, who recently suffered a back injury in an off-season training incident. Paasch’s injury left the team without a Stock 1000 rider for the upcoming MotoAmerica round at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on April 21 through 23.
“We are hoping for a speedy recovery for Paasch,” commented Nassaney. “I told him not to rush it. He needs to be fully recovered before he gets back on the bike. His long-term health is way more important.”
Norton, who will be aboard the team’s Suzuki GSX-R1000R, has had a successful club racing career on the West Coast. He has won a Supersport Open Championship and holds the overall #2 ranking in the Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association (CVMA). Norton has also competed in endurance racing events with the Mountain Roadracing Association (MRA), holds a lap record at Podium Club with the Arroyo Seco Motorcyclist Association (ASMA), and raced at MotoAmerica’s two West Coast rounds (Ridge Motorsports Park and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca) last year as a privateer.
“I am super bummed for Brandon,” Norton said. “After the way he ended last season, I really thought this would be his year. But I am honored to have the opportunity to join the grid with the Altus team. I’ve never ridden at Road Atlanta, but with Mike Pond’s and Mike Castro’s support, I know the bike will be dialed. I have huge shoes to fill, but I am ready for the challenge.”
Nassaney added, “2023 has definitely thrown our team some massive challenges. It’s been difficult, but what I have learned from the late Eric Gray is, you must push through the challenges to get the big prize. We have a great team of riders and excellent mechanics under our tent. This year is dedicated to Eric, and we will be ready for round one (at Road Atlanta) in a couple weeks.”
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