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.
Current home: Banning, California.
Current height/weight: 6’1”/150 pounds.
Current school grade level: 12th grade.
Began riding at age: 4 years.
First road race: 2012, Apple Valley, California, Minimoto USA, Minimoto, 1st place.
Current racebike: Suzuki SV650.
Current tuners/mechanics: Phet Khamsouk (father), Michael Copolous, Matt Spicer.
Primary race series: MotoAmerica Twins Cup.
Sponsors: Robem Engineering, Precision Auto Service, HJC, Mithos.
Recent racing accomplishments (so far): 2019 season, finished 12th in MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship (8 top-10 finishes), 2 podium finishes with CVMA; 2018 season, finished 14th in MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship (best race finished was 5th – twice), placed 2nd in 3 CVMA Championships (350 Supersport, Junior Cup, 500 Supersport); 2017 season, placed 6th in MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Championship (1 podium, 4 top-5 finishes); 2016 season, won Yamaha YZF-R3 Cup Novice Championship, won 2 WERA West Championships (Formula 2 Novice, Formula Three Combined).
2020 racing goals: Improve, go fast, do the best that I can.
Racing career goal: Win a MotoAmerica Superbike Championship.
Racing hero: Casey Stoner.
Favorite track: Road Atlanta.
Favorite hobby: Off-roading.
If I wasn’t racing I would be…: Pursuing a career in Business or Marketing or helping my parents with the family business.