Roadracing World Young Guns 2020: Rocco Landers

Roadracing World Young Guns 2020: Rocco Landers

© 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.


Rocco Landers, the 2019 MotoAmerica Junior Cup Champion and 2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookie. Photo by GEPA Pictures, courtesy of Red Bull.
Rocco Landers, the 2019 MotoAmerica Junior Cup Champion and 2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookie. Photo by GEPA Pictures, courtesy of Red Bull.

Rocco Landers

Age: 15.

Current home: Burns, Oregon.

Current height/weight: 5’7”/135 pounds.

Current school grade level: 10th grade.

Began riding at age: 2 years.

First road race: 2010, Buttonwillow, California, SC MiniGP, Blata Cup, 1st Place.

Current racebikes: KTM RC250, Kawasaki Ninja 400, BMW S1000RR.

Current tuner/mechanics: Stoney Landers (father).

Primary race series: Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, MotoAmerica Junior Cup, CVMA.

Sponsors: CVMA, SoCal Track Days, Track Daz, Mithos, GP Suspension, KFG Motorsports, Norton Motorsports, Penske, DP Brakes, Weir Everywhere Racing, BMW Motorrad USA, Lee’s Cycle, California Superbike School, Team Green Kawasaki, VP Racing Fuels, Racer’s Edge Performance,, Hotbodies, Tyrant Designs CNC, HJC.

Recent racing accomplishments: 2019 season, won MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship (won 14 of 17 races), won five CVMA class Championships, won multiple races and titles at Dunlop Invite event; 2018 season, finished 4th in RFME CEV (Spanish) 85cc GP National Championship, 18 race wins with CVMA, 3 race wins with WERA West; 2017 season, finished 5th in RFME CEV (Spanish) 85cc National Championship; 2016 season, finished 9th in CIV (Italian) 50cc MiniGP Championship; 2015-2010, multiple mini road racing Championships and race wins.

2020 racing goals: Do as well as possible in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, win as many MotoAmerica Junior Cup races as possible, earn a MotoAmerica Twins Cup ride.

Racing career goal: Win races and Championships in Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP.

Racing heroes: Valentino Rossi, Ronnie Mack, Ben Spies.

Favorite track: Sonoma Raceway.

Favorite hobby: Riding pit bikes.

If I wasn’t racing I would be…: Moping around.

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