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: Belmont, California (now living in Barcelona, Spain)
Current height/weight: 6’0”/150 pounds.
Current school grade level: 11th grade.
Began riding at age: 4 years.
First road race: 2009, Stockton, California, Supermoto USA, PW Class, 2nd place.
Current racebike: Kalex Moto2.
Current tuners/mechanics: MMR/American Racing Team.
Primary race series: FIM JuniorGP Moto2 European Championship.
Sponsors: American Racing Team, Apex Motorsport Agency, MMR, ISSIMI, iTalico Italian Restaurant, Dr. Carl Price/The Center for Plastic Surgery, CT Racing, Bell Helmets, Magna Leathers.
Recent racing accomplishments: 2022 season, earned co-Championship in CIV Aprilia RS 660 Trophy Cup series (4 wins, 8 total podiums in 8 races), 1 podium finish in ESBK SuperStock 600 race at Jerez, raced as wild card in FIM Moto2 European Championship finale at Valencia (qualified 19th but was taken out/crashed in race); 2021 season, finished 2nd racing as a wild card in CIV Aprilia RS 660 Cup race at Vallelunga, finished 9th in MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship (only ran 12 races, 1 win, 4 total podiums), finished 13th in MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship (only ran 4 races, 2 podium finishes); 2020 season, qualified 4th and finished 5th in Race Two in MotoAmerica Junior Cup debut at Laguna Seca, tied for 19th in CIV (Italian) Moto3 National Championship (best race finish was 10th at Misano); 2019 season, placed 9th in CIV PreMoto3 Championship (1 podium finish at Mugello), won Pro Supermoto USA 250 race; 2018 season, won all races he entered in Z & F Grand Prix School (mini Grand Prix series in France).
2023 racing goals: Get podium finishes, place in the top 5 in FIM JuniorGP Moto2 European races and Championship.
Racing career goal: Race in one of the World Championships.
Racing hero: Iker Lecuona.
Favorite track: Valencia.
Favorite hobby: Riding BMX.
If I wasn’t racing I would be…: A music producer.
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.