Roadracing World Young Guns 2022: Kensei Matsudaira

Roadracing World Young Guns 2022: Kensei Matsudaira

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. 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 26th consecutive year of showcasing an abundance of new talent.

Roadracing World Young Guns have won:

FIM MotoGP and FIM Superbike races and World Championships;

MotoAmerica and AMA Pro races and Championships, including 11 AMA Pro Superbike Championships;

A KTM RC Cup World Final race;

The Daytona 200 (11 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 10 and 18 (as of the start of the 2022 season) who have, at a minimum, won Expert-level road races and/or Championships 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.


Kensei Matsudaira. Photo courtesy Kensei Matsudaira.
Kensei Matsudaira. Photo courtesy Kensei Matsudaira.


Kensei Matsudaira

Age: 11.

Current home: Los Angeles, California.

Current height/weight: 4’9”/85 pounds.

Current school grade level: 5th grade.

Began riding at age: 3 years old.

First road race: 2015, Rosamond, California, M1GP, CRF50 Cup, Terminator, 3rd place.

Current racebikes: Ohvale GP-0 110cc, 160cc & 190cc; IMR Moto5.

Current tuners/mechanics: Kuni Matsudaira (father), JR Esteve.

Primary race series: MotoAmerica Mini Cup, Cuna de Campeones Moto5, WERA West.

Top sponsors: American Racing Team, American Racing Academy, Fresh N Lean,, Shoei Helmets, Yoshimura R&D, D.I.D Chain, Galfer Brakes, California Mini Grand Prix, Landers Racing, Moto Tecnica, Mad Labs Minimoto, 73 Moto Parts, Vortex Racing, VNM Sport, Boyko Racing, Apex Racing Center, California Superbike School, Moto Survival School, DRT Racing, Live 100% Moto, Karen Ott Photography.

Recent racing accomplishments: 2021 season, won FIM MiniGP North America Championship, won MotoAmerica Mini Cup 110cc and 160cc Championships, won Mini 80 WERA West Sportsman Championship, raced in Cuna de Campeones MiniGP 110 Championship with a best race finish of 8th, placed 3rd in Youth 150 AMA Speedway Championship; 2020 season, won Mini 50 WERA West Sportsman Championship, won 65cc AMA Supermoto National Championship.

2022 racing goals: Win Championships in MotoAmerica Mini Cup, Cuna de Campeones Moto5, AMA Supermoto, AMA Speedway, AMA Flat Track.

Racing career goals: Win MotoAmerica Championships at higher levels and then race in the World Championship.

Racing heroes: Daijiro Kato, Norick Abe, Nicky Hayden.

Favorite track: Apex Racing Center.

Favorite hobbies: Downhill mountain biking, skiing, fishing, air soft.

If I wasn’t racing I would be…: Compete in other sports like mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing/bouldering and judo.

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