Roger Lee Hayden, younger brother of late MotoGP champion Nicky, confirmed that he will retire from competitive racing at the end of 2018 season.
35-year old Roger Lee currently races in MotoAmerica championship for Yoshimura Suzuki team and is currently in ninth position in the standings after six out of ten rounds this year. In 2017 season he managed to finish the season as a runner up to his Yoshimura team mate Toni Elias.
This decision to retire at the end of current season bring an end to long and successful career and it also signifies end of an era in American racing for the time being. Owensboro, Kentucky native raced in many different championship over 20 seasons long career. Coming from flat track racing, he started his road racing career in 1999 at the age of 16, when he entered AMA 750cc Supersport championship. Even as a rookie he was impressing people with each passing race, but the biggest show of his potential at the age of 16 was fifth place finish in the race at Road Altanta. A year later at age of just 17 he managed to score his first podium in Superstock class.
While Roger started his road racing career on Suzuki GSX-R bikes, he is the most known for his relationship with Kawasaki, which run from 2004 to start of 2011 season. During those 7 years he managed to finish runner up in AMA Supersport championship twice in 2004 and 2005 season, while eventually winning the championship in 2007 season, while also winning AMA Superbike Rookie of the year title for 2006 season. During 2007 season Roger also contested one MotoGP race, as a wildcard for Kawasaki factory team at Laguna Seca, finishing the race in tenth position. His second and last MotoGP race came in 2010 season, when he replaced injured Randy De Puniet at LCR Honda at Laguna Seca, finishing the race in eleventh position.
He also contested full World Superbike season for Pedercini Kawasaki in 2010, scoring 19 points over whole season, with pair of thirteen places at Brno in race 2 and Nurburgring in race 1 being his best result, while also making one off Moto2 appearance on an American Honda sponsored Moriwaki bike at Indianapolis, where he finished outside the points in seventeen position.
For 2011 season he returned home to AMA and to Suzuki motorcycles, having joined National Guard Jordan Suzuki, scoring his first win a year later at Homestead-Miami Superspeedway race track. He has been part of Suzuki factory Yoshimura squad since 2014 season. While it’s not known yet what he will do in retirement, Roger has expressed his wish to stay involved in the sport.
All at Now Moto wish Roger all the best for the future.
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