Roger Hayden keeps a close eye on what’s happening on and off track in his role as color commentator for MotoAmerica Live+.
Photo by Paul Carruthers.

Roger Hayden has been there, done that. And that, in part, makes him the perfect person to provide color commentary for MotoAmerica Live+. Since Hayden has only been retired from racing since 2019, he not only brings familiarity with the majority of the current crop of racers, but he also has the advantage of having raced modern Superbikes. That gives him the background to be able to not only tell our fans when something is happening, but why it’s happening.

What was your introduction to the motorcycle world?

Racing has always been a family thing for us and it’s what we did growing up. My parents raced and then my siblings and I started racing flat track. It’s how we spent our weekends together. Kind of how most kids go to baseball tournaments and things like that, we spent our weekends going to the local flat tracks and racing. From there, my love for racing just grew into what it is today.

What led you to being a motorcycle racing broadcaster?

My first year of being retired from racing was 2019, which was also the first year of MotoAmerica Live+. I was a guest for a few sessions that year at two to three races. When COVID created unforeseen travel restrictions and Michael Hill was unable to fly over, Chuck Aksland asked if I would fill in for the first race of the year at Road America in 2020. Because travel restrictions continued, I was weekend-to-weekend until Michael could return, which ended up being the full year. I’ve returned each race season since.

What part of the job do you enjoy the most?

I just really enjoy being at the track, staying involved in the sport, and keeping in touch with the racing community and fans. It’s been really nice to transition into a new role and learn a new skillset around the sport. We have a great team and I’ve really enjoyed getting to be a part of the TV crew and enjoy the banter with each other on the race weekends whether it’s about racing, our favorite sports teams, or whatever it might be.

Hayden has raced with a lot of the riders still racing in MotoAmerica, including Josh Herrin. Photo by Paul Carruthers.

What part of the job is the most difficult?

Honestly, the job is way tougher than I thought it would be. I used to watch sports and kind of harp on the sportscasters. Now that I am in a similar role, I can see how difficult it actually is. Personally, what’s most challenging for me is talking all day, having to keep up with a lot of information on the track while being in the booth, and having to work live knowing that there are no re-takes. Whatever I put out there, is out there. In the beginning, I was so scared to make a mistake and I didn’t talk too much. Then I realized a mistake here and there is kind of like crashing. Although I don’t like the mistakes, knowing there are going to be some bumps in the road has really helped me. Trying to announce a practice/qualifying session and then a race is also pretty difficult for me because it’s two different energies and I’ve really had to learn how to make those transitions.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the track?

I really enjoy fishing, hunting, watching games and races, and I’m really big into fantasy sports. Most of all, I love being home on our farm with my wife, our families, the nieces and nephews, and our pets. Just hanging out and spending time together. I also spend a lot of time trying to beg the Chicago Bears to actually win a game.

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