Roadracing World started this exclusive special feature recognizing the most promising young road racers as an answer to pessimists who claimed North America had no new, up-and-coming young racers. This edition of the Roadracing World Young Gun Awards marks the 27th consecutive year of showcasing what is actually 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 12 MotoAmerica/AMA Pro Superbike Championships;
A KTM RC Cup World Final race;
The Daytona 200 (12 times);
WERA National Endurance Championships and WERA National Challenge Championships;
ASRA/Formula USA Grand National and CCS National Championships;
USGPRU National Championships;
Many regional and local titles.
The competition has continually become more intense as more — and younger — racers with higher levels of accomplishments 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 2023 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.
The entire Roadracing World Young Guns, Class of 2023 is featured in the April 2023 issue of Roadracing World & Motorcycle Technology magazine.
Current home: Burlington, Kentucky.
Current height/weight: 5’6”/130 pounds.
Current school grade level: 8th grade.
Began riding at age: 4 years.
First road race: 2017, Circleville, Ohio, Ohio Mini Road Racing League, Kids50, 4th Place.
Current racebike: Honda, NSF250R.
Current tuners/mechanics: Nathan Smith, Jordan Pritchard.
Primary race series: British Talent Cup.
Top sponsors: Dainese Chicago, Best Western Resorts & Hotels; KMA Racing, Enterprise Rental, Thorneycroft Solicitors, Rising Sun Cycles, POP Shadow Decals & Wraps, HiFLo Filtro, Vortex Racing, Motul, 35 Motorsports.
Recent racing accomplishments: 2022 season, tied for 29th in British Talent Cup Championship (best race finish was 12th), won WERA Sportsman Clubman National Championship, won 2 WERA North Central Regional Championships (won 18 WERA races); 2021 season, won AMA Moto3 Expert Grand Championship, took 2nd in Formula Two WERA National Challenge Series Championship, won 8 WERA Sportsman Regional Class Championships (won 26 WERA races); 2020 season, won D Superbike Novice WERA Sportsman North Central Championship (won 6 WERA races); 2019 season, named AMA Youth Road Racer of the Year, won 5 WERA Sportsman Regional Championships in Novice classes (win 13 WERA races).
2023 racing goal: Finish top 10 in British Talent Cup Championship.
Racing career goal: Compete in the MotoGP World Championship.
Racing hero: Nicky Hayden.
Favorite track: Road Atlanta.
Favorite hobby: Cooking.
If I wasn’t racing I would be…: Making cooking videos for YouTube.
Some of the riders who have graduated from Roadracing World Young Guns and gone on to racing success in National or International series include:
2017 MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Champion Jason Aguilar (R.I.P.);
2013 AMA Pro SuperSport East Champion and 2022 MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Champion Corey Alexander;
AMA Pro Daytona SportBike race winner Tommy Aquino (R.I.P.);
2008 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion, two-time MotoAmerica Supersport Champion, and AFT SuperTwins race winner J.D. Beach;
five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier;
MotoAmerica Twins Cup race winner Jackson Blackmon;
former Canadian Sport Bike Champion Tomas Casas;
three-time Canadian Sport Bike Champion and 2014 Canadian Superbike Champion Jodi Christie;
former AMA Pro SuperSport East Champion and MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 race winner Josh Day;
2011 Daytona 200 winner Jason DiSalvo;
2014 AMA Pro SuperSport Championship runner-up and current MotoAmerica team owner Dustin Dominguez;
2018 MotoAmerica Junior Cup Champion, 2019 MotoAmerica Twins Cup Champion, and 2021 Canadian Superbike Champion Alex Dumas;
four-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race winner and former motorcycle track record holder Carlin Dunne (R.I.P.);
Canadian Superbike race winner Bodhi Edie;
two-time AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion, two-time AMA Pro XR1200/Harley-Davidson Champion and four-time Daytona 200 winner Danny Eslick;
2019 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion and MotoAmerica Superbike race winner Bobby Fong;
2010 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion, 2014 AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion, 2015 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North America Superstock 1000 Champion, and two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Jake Gagne;
two-time MotoAmerica Supersport Champion and World Superbike podium finisher Garrett Gerloff;
2017 MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Championship runner-up Michael Gilbert;
2014 AMA Pro SuperSport Champion, 2018 MotoAmerica Supersport Championship runner-up, and 2022 MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Championship runner-up Hayden Gillim;
2002 AMA Superbike Champion and 2006 FIM MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden (R.I.P.);
2007 AMA Pro 600cc Supersport Champion, 2014 AMA Pro Superbike Championship runner-up, and 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship runner-up Roger Hayden;
eight-time AMA Pro Superbike race winner and two-time AMA Supersport Champion Tommy Hayden;
2013 AMA Pro Superbike Champion, 2016 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Champion, 2022 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion, and two-time Daytona 200 winner Josh Herrin;
MotoAmerica Supersport front-runner Teagg Hobbs;
AMA Pro Superstock race winner Jake Holden;
2011 British Superbike Championship runner-up and former MotoGP and World Superbike regular John Hopkins;
2015 Supersport World Championship runner-up, 2019 MotoAmerica Supersport Championship runner-up, and MotoAmerica Superbike podium finisher Patrick “P.J.” Jacobsen;
2021 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion and current Moto2 World Championship competitor Sean Dylan Kelly;
Canadian Superbike race winner Kevin Lacombe;
two-time MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Champion Andrew Lee;
2021 MotoAmerica Stock 1000 and Superbike Cup Champion Jake Lewis;
MotoAmerica Supersport race winner Sam Lochoff;
MotoAmerica Superstock 600 race winner Nick McFadden;
AMA Pro SuperSport race winner and MotoAmerica Supersport race winner Stefano Mesa;
Elena Myers, the first and only woman to win AMA Pro Supersport races;
AMA Pro XR1200 race winner, multi-time Loudon Classic winner, and two-time BRL Champion Shane Narbonne;
2012 Canadian Superbike Championship runner-up Andrew Nelson;
2016 MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Champion, 2019 British Motostar (Moto3) Champion, MotoAmerica Supersport podium finisher, and two-time Daytona 200 winner Brandon Paasch;
2012 Daytona 200 winner and 2010 AMA Pro Supersport West Champion Joey Pascarella;
2016 MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Champion, MotoAmerica Supersport podium finisher, and current powersports dealership owner Bryce Prince;
AMA Pro and Canadian National race winner and multi-time N2/WERA National Endurance Champion Chris Peris;
two-time AMA Pro SuperSport National Champion, British Supersport podium finisher, 2020 AFT Production Twins Champion, and MotoAmerica King Of The Baggers race winner James Rispoli;
2015 MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Champion, MotoAmerica Supersport race winner, and Moto2 World Championship race winner Joe Roberts;
former Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup Champion and former FIM Moto2 European Championship competitor Benny Solis, Jr.;
three-time AMA Pro Superbike Champion, 2009 Superbike World Champion, MotoGP race winner, and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Ben Spies;
multi-time AMA Pro race winner and four-time overall WERA National Endurance Champion Chris Ulrich;
MotoAmerica Supersport podium finisher and former World Superbike competitor Jayson Uribe;
2017 MotoAmerica KTM RC Cup Championship runner-up, 2018 MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship runner-up, and MotoAmerica Supersport podium finisher Cory Ventura;
Canadian Superbike race winner Alex Welsh;
former AMA Pro Superbike Rookie of the Year, Chinese Superbike Championship race winner and MotoAmerica Supersport podium finisher Cory West;
MotoAmerica Junior Cup and Superbike Cup race winner Ashton Yates;
and two-time AMA Pro Superbike Championship runner-up Blake Young.