Roadracing World Young Guns 2020: Brenden Ketelsen

Roadracing World Young Guns 2020: Brenden Ketelsen

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

24th-Annual Roadracing World Young Gun Honors:

By David Swarts

Roadracing World started this exclusive special feature recognizing the most promising young road racers as an answer to pessimists who claimed America had no new, up-and-coming young racers. This edition of the Roadracing World Young Gun Awards marks the 24th consecutive year of showcasing an abundance of new talent.

Roadracing World Young Guns have won:

FIM MotoGP and FIM Superbike races and World Championships;

AMA Pro races and Championships, including eight AMA Pro Superbike Championships;

A KTM RC Cup World Final race;

The Daytona 200 (8 times);

WERA National Endurance Championships and WERA National Challenge Championships;

ASRA/Formula USA Grand National and CCS National Championships;

AMA Road Racing Grand Championships and Horizon Awards;

USGPRU National Championships;

Many regional and local titles.

The competition has continually become more intense as more – and younger—racers with higher levels of accomplishment are nominated, and the level of achievement required to make the grade keeps getting tougher.

We’ve spent the last several months accepting nominations and evaluating road racers between the ages of 11 and 18 (as of the start of the 2020 season) who have, at a minimum, won Expert-level road races and/or Championships on a 125cc two-stroke/250cc four-stroke or larger racebike or had outstanding results as an Amateur/Novice. Most of the riders included here have done far more than the minimum.

The young riders recognized here are the most promising young road racers in North America. All have earned the title of Roadracing World Young Gun.

We will feature one Young Gun per day, presenting them in alphabetical order.


Brenden Ketelsen

Age: 16.

Current home: Sacramento, California.

Current height/weight: 6’0”/160 pounds.

Current school grade level: 11th grade.

Began riding at age: 4 1/2 years old.

First road race: 2010, Stockton, California, SMRRC, Blata Cup, 1st place.

Current racebike: Kawasaki Ninja 400.

Current tuner/mechanic: Shane Baxter.

Primary race series: AFM.

Sponsors: CBD, Shoei Helmets, Paint by Ed Yoast,, PCP Motorsports, Y2 Wheels, Moto-D, Sidi, Graves Motorsports.

Recent racing accomplishments: 2019 season, finished 15th in MotoAmerica Junior Cup (best race finish was 4th at Sonoma Raceway), placed 2nd in AFM Formula Three Championship (3 wins); 2018 season, 3 wins and 5 podiums with WERA West, multiple podium finishes with AFM, invited to Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup selection event; 2017 season, won D Superbike Novice WERA West Sportsman Championship (11 wins in 12 races), invited to red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup selection event.

2020 racing goal: Win as many AFM Championships as I can.

Racing career goal: To get to the highest level of racing possible, with a lot of hard work maybe even MotoGP one day.

Racing hero: Nicky Hayden.

Favorite track: Sonoma Raceway.

Favorite hobbies: Supermoto, motocross.

If I wasn’t racing I would be…: A professional Bass fisherman

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