We spoke to rising star Aden Thao about his career and future aspirations.
Fresno, California native Aden Thao was a late bloomer in the sport of road racing but that hasn’t stopped him from winning races and titles. In his 2-year racing career, Thao has pursued every opportunity to race and racked up some impressive finishes. In his first year in MotoAmerica in 2020, Thao finished just outside the top 10 in the Junior Cup class, finishing in 12th place with five top-10 finishes. Thao will once again line up on the MotoAmerica Junior Cup grid for 2021.
When did you start riding motorcycles?
August 11, 2018, a few days after my 15th birthday.
What was the first bike you learned to ride on?
My first bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 250.
What was the bike you first raced on?
My very first race was on Yamaha R3.
Why did racing appeal to you?
My father and older brother are into cars. Mostly JDM cars and drag racing. Although I love cars myself, I wanted to be different.
What series did you race in before MotoAmerica?
I raced with AFM, WERA, and CVMA.
List your accomplishments in those series’ (podium, winner, etc).
In 2019, I finished first in the AMA Road Race Grand Championship in the Lightweight Twins Superbike as a Novice racer. I took first place in the WERA Sportsman Series National Championship in the D Superbike Novice and D Superstock Novice classes in 2019. I also finished 2nd in Lightweight Twins Superstock. I also took 9th overall in the American Federation of Motorcyclists (AFM) Championship in the Novice class.
Still going to compete in Junior Cup in 2021 or will you do another class?
Yes, I will be racing in the Junior Cup in 2021.
Goals for this season?
My goal this season is to take the championship in MotoAmerica Junior Cup.
Biggest challenges for 2021?
Battling for podium finishes.
Ultimate goals in the sport? MotoGP? WSBK?
My ultimate goal is to race in WSBK.
Any racing heroes growing up?
Marc Marquez because of his 125cc debut at 15.
The biggest influence on your career?
Sean Dylan Kelly because of his accomplishments at such a young age and his humbleness.
Any advice for young riders wanting to get into road racing?
Learn to be patient and allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.
Featured images – Calishine Racing