We spoke to rising star Hayden Bicknese about his career and future aspirations.
The thrill of speed and racing was installed in 15-year-old Hayden Bicknese from an early age riding motorcycles in his backyard by the tender age of 3 years old. The Missouri-born rider loves to race and compete and spends time racing drag boats as well. 2021 marks his first full year competing in the MotoAmerica Junior Cup series having turned 14 in July of 2020. With just over half the season in the books, the Altus Motorsports rider currently sits in an impressive 10th place with 51 points, 2 points behind rival Aden Thao in 9th as the series heads to Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota.
When did you start riding motorcycles?
I started riding a dirt bike with training wheels when I was 3. I ran laps in my backyard for years.
What was the first bike you learn to ride on?
A Honda CRF50.
What was the bike you first raced?
Yamaha R3 and a Kawasaki 400cc.
Where was your first race held?
MSR Houston (Motor Speedway Resort) in February 2020
What was it about racing that appealed to you/got you hooked?
Going fast with no fear. Winning my first race events gave me confidence and got me hooked.
What series did you race in prior to MotoAmerica?
CMRA (Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association).
List your accomplishments in those series (podium, winner, etc.)
2020: Won 29 of the 35 novice races I competed in including 33 podiums. Overall Novice Champion. CMRA Novice Sprint Championships in the following classes: Lightweight Twins, 500 GP, 500 Superbike, 500 Superstock, 300 Superbike, 500 Solo 30 endurance
How do you feel your season has gone so far?
Pretty good so far. Overall, I am doing good and have five top-ten finishes now halfway through the season even though I’ve had a few issues with the bike and have 3 DNFs so far. I am feeling more confident now and believe I can run with the leaders.
Areas you feel you want/need to improve upon?
I need to get up to speed quicker on these tracks that are all new to me in order to qualify better and closer to the front of the grid.
Favorite track to race on so far?
Road America in Wisconsin.
What is the hardest part of racing in the MotoAmerica Junior Cup?
Competing with racers that have previous race experience on the MotoAmerica tracks.
Ultimate goals in the sport? MotoGP, WSBK?
Compete in Europe in the WSBK series.
Any racing heroes growing up?
Nicky Hayden and Joe Roberts.
The biggest influence on your career to date?
My Dad for my bike setup and Ty Howard as my riding coach.
Any advice to other young riders wanting to get into racing?
Get a race license and start racing as early as you can. There is no better experience, and you will progress faster if you jump right in. Plus, a race license will open the door and allow you to ride with some track day organizations that otherwise have minimum age requirements.
Featured images – BrianJNelson