Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Superbike racer Roger Hayden will retire from competition after the final round of the 2018 MotoAmerica Series scheduled for September 21–23 at Barber Motorsports Park. Hayden's decision represents the end of an era for the Kentucky family that has earned worldwide respect for its immeasurable impact on the sport.

Hayden, 35, admitted that he has been considering retirement for some time. “I’ve been going to races on the weekends since I was nine, and I just thought it was the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life,” he said. “I want to spend more time with my wife and maybe do some traveling and start a family at some point soon."

Hayden is the youngest member of the racing Hayden family. He entered his first race at age six, earned the AMA Horizon Award in 1998 (renamed last year in honor of inaugural winner and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden), and turned professional in 1999. Hayden’s announcement came one day after what would have been Nicky’s 37th birthday.

During his 20-year professional career, Hayden—the 2006 AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year and ’07 AMA Supersport champion—has raced a variety of Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki machinery. In addition to his domestic achievements, he contested a full season of World Superbike in 2010 and competed as a wild-card rider in both MotoGP and Moto2.

Roger Hayden at Road Atlanta
“Yoshimura and Suzuki have felt like a family to me,” said Roger Hayden (95), seen here trailing teammate Toni Elias (1) earlier this year at Road Atlanta. “It’s just been a pleasure to be part of the team. I’ve had some of my greatest success with Yoshimura Suzuki and the entire team has always worked hard at giving me great motorcycles to race.”Brian J. Nelson

Hayden joined Yoshimura Suzuki in 2014. “I respect Roger for his integrity and his core family values,” Yoshimura Suzuki Racing President Don Sakakura said. “We’ve all enjoyed the company of the Hayden family for countless years. We all wish Roger the very best as he transitions to his next phase in life.”

Suzuki is reportedly looking at ways in which Hayden might continue to participate in the sport after he concludes the riding portion of his career. “I would like to stay involved in racing in some way,” he admitted. “I enjoy working with the young riders coming up, and we’ll see what the future holds.”