Roger Lee Hayden is one of three motorcycle racing brothers, and all three have risen to the top of the sport.
Its no wonder the Hayden family name has captured the hearts and imaginations of motorcycle racing fans across the United States and around the world. Roger, Nicky and Tommy Hayden are racing royalty, the first family of American road racing.
The youngest of the three brothers, Roger Lee followed oldest brother Tommy and middle brother Nicky from the amateur ranks to the professional racing scene, and dominated championships just as his brothers had done.
After winning AMA Supersport and Superbike championships in the USA, brother Nicky entered the world stage, and won the coveted MotoGP crown. Tommy won consecutive AMA Supersport championships in 2004 and 2005, relegating young Roger to the runner-up spot those two years.
Roger followed that by taking the 2007 AMA Supersport title while also campaigning aboard an AMA Superbike the same season. That year was made all the more memorable when Roger earned the opportunity to race the USGP as a wild card entry, making his MotoGP debut on a factory Kawasaki and finishing a respectable 10th, the highest-placing American in the race.
Prior to earning a spot in the World Superbike championship for the 2010 season, Roger competed in virtually all of the AMA road racing classes, including Superbike, Formula Xtreme, Superstock and Supersport, amassing 13 national career victories–12 of them on 600cc machines.
An impressive track record indeed, and one that earned Roger a huge fan base in the U.S. Yet sit down and chat with Roger you’re taken in by his homespun, all-American demeanor. It’s no facade; raised in rural Kentucky by parents who hold fast to a tight family ethos, Roger’s solid upbringing contributes to his affable personality and ability to roll up his sleeves and get the job done.
Roger Lee Hayden says: “Riding and racing is just something I’ve always done. I started riding when I was about five years old and we always had a track out behind our house. So after school my brothers and I would go riding, and during summer vacation we’d pack up and the whole family would travel to races. I began flat-track racing when I was six, but like any other kid I also did a lot of other sports.”
Like so many American road racers before him, Roger pursued flat-track racing doggedly during his early teen years and in the process he won the AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award in 1998 in recognition of his blossoming skills.
He then began road racing professionally immediately after his 16th birthday (per AMA licensing requirements) even though the 1999 season was well underway. He finished an impressive fifth in his first professional race. He completed the remainder of that AMA season and raced in flat-track events, all while juggling a full-time of high school class schedule.
Three years later, while most of his classmates were wondering where to begin the first stage of their adult lives, Roger had already earned the status of a seasoned rider and was competing as a top professional racer in AMA Supersport and Superbike championships.
That dual-class status endured for most of his AMA career, and this wealth of professional racing experience–more than a decade now in a rider only 27 years old–makes Roger one of the most formidable and popular competitors in the world.
Having joined Pedercini Kawasaki for the 2010 World Superbike Championship, this youngest of the Hayden clan is now learning the ropes in world competition, riding new tracks all across the globe–a veteran rider meeting new challenges head-on.
Winning championships is a Hayden tradition, one Roger fully intends to continue.
Roger Lee Hayden Statistics:
2009 (partial season due to injury)
AMA Daytona SportBike – 12th
2008 (partial season due to injury)
AMA Supersport – 29th
AMA Superbike – 22nd
AMA Supersport – 1st
AMA Superbike – 10th
AMA Supersport – 5th
AMA Superbike – 17th
AMA Supersport – 2nd
AMA Superstock – 4th
AMA Supersport – 2nd
AMA Superstock – 8th
AMA 600 Supersport – 8th
AMA Formula Xtreme – 10th
AMA 600 Supersport – 5th
AMA Formula Xtreme – 16th
AMA 600 Supersport – 12th
AMA Formula Xtreme – 8th
AMA 600 Supersport – 13th
AMA 750 Supersport – 5th
1999 (began racing in June)
AMA 600 Supersport – 21st
AMA 750 Supersport – 15th
Born: May 30, 1983, Owensboro, Kentucky
Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky
Began Riding: 1988, age 5
First Race: 1989, age 6
Hobbies: Motocross, flat track, hunting, and fishing
Height/Weight: 5′ 7″/145 lbs.
Marital status: Single