Last weekend, Taylor Bayne became the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500. At just 20-years-old, Bayne beat out Carl Edwards, David Gilliland, and Bobby Labonte to take a historic win at Daytona.
In light of Bayne’s spectacular feat, here is a look at some of the youngest motorcycle champions in the history of racing.
Loris Capirossi: Loris Capiross won his first world championship before the age of 18. Capirossi won the 125cc world championship in 1990 when he was 17 years and 165 days old. Capirossi’s career has spanned more than three decades, and last year he made his 300th career start.
MotoGP: Youngest rider to win the 250cc World Championship
Valentino Rossi: Valentino Rossi won his first 250cc world championship in 1999 at the age of 20. This was Rossi’s second World Championship victory, as he won the 125cc class championship two year’s prior. Since then, Rossi has amassed 9 grand prix championships, 7 of which were in the premier class. Rossi is also the youngest rider to win a world championship in each of the three divisions.
Freddie Spencer: Being the youngest rider to win a premier World Championship is only one of many records held by Freddie Spencer. Spencer is also the only rider to ever win the 250cc and the 500cc championship in the same year (1985). He was also the youngest rider to win an AMA Superbike race in 1979. He was 18.
Supercross: Youngest rider to win an AMA Supercross championship.
Ryan Dungey: Ryan Dungey became the youngest rider to win an AMA Supercross championship in 2010. But in order to make it an absolutely legendary season, he also became the youngest rookie to win an AMA Motocross championship that same year. Ryan Dungey is still one of the youngest riders in the Supercross series, despite having two titles under his belt.
Troy Corser: When Troy Corser won the World Superbike title in 1996, he became the first Australian, and the youngest rider in the history of the sport to do so.
James Toseland: Corser’s record setting win in 1996 was outdone by James Toseland in 2004. Toseland became the youngest rider to claim the WSBK title at the age of 23. Toseland won the title again in 2007, before moving over to the MotoGP.
British Superbike: Youngest rider to win the British Superbike
Leon Camier: Leon Camier made history in 2009, when he became the youngest rider to win the British Superbike Championship. After his record breaking 2009 season, Camier moved to the World Superbike series.
Mike Hailwood: The Isle of Man TT is such a storied series, that it was hard to pin down the youngest champion. But Mike the Bike’s 1961 victory at the age of 21 is a good contender. Hailwood would go onto win another 13 TT’s, and considered one of the greatest to race at the mountain track.
AMA Superbike: Youngest rider to win the AMA Superbike
Nicky Hayden: The Kentucky Kid became the youngest AMA Superbike champion in 2002, when he won at the age of 21-years and 12 days. Hayden moved on to the MotoGP, where he took the World Championship in 2006.
Brad Andres: Brad Andres won his first Grand National Championship in 1955 during his rookie season. That same year, Andres became the youngest rider to win the Daytona 200 at the age of 18.
Scott Parker: Andres won his first Grand National race at the age of 18, but his record has since been broken by 9 other riders. Nicky Hayden and Larry Pegram are two of the youngest riders to win a Grand National race, but the top honor goes to Scott Parker, who won his first race in 1979 at the age of 17 yrs, 8 mos, 8 days. It’s also interesting to note that Parker is one of the oldest racers to win a Grand National race. Parker was 38 when he won his last race in 2000, more than 20 years after his debut win.
Grand Prix: Youngest to win a Grand Prix race.
Scott Redding: Redding has the distinction of being the youngest rider to win a grand prix race. Redding won his first Grand Prix race at 15 years and 170 days, when he won the 2008 British 125cc Grand Prix at Donington Park, breaking Marco Melandri’s 10 year record. Redding would also go on to become the youngest rider to win 50 grand prix races.
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com