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A Tribute To Nicky Hayden, By Steve English

As a tribute to Nicky Hayden, who tragically died last week, succumbing to the injuries sustained in a cycling accident, we will be running a series of three articles over the next couple of days, by WorldSBK commentator and Paddock Pass Podcast member Steve English.

The first piece is Steve's moving tribute and memories of Hayden from working with him in both the MotoGP and WorldSBK paddocks.

I've always been a fan of racing and from my earliest memories all I can remember is watching racing and loving it. From when I started watching motorcycle racing, I was drawn towards Flat Track racers from the United States. Perhaps it was because the risks they take are so similar to Road Racing in Ireland, or just their style on a bike. There was always an attraction for me towards Flat Trackers and as a child the riders I admired were Americans who grew up on the dirt. Whether it was hearing stories of Kenny Roberts and Freddie Spencer or watching Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz, the Americans held a certain mystique for me.

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2017 Donington Park WorldSBK Race 1 Notes: Weird Crashes And Tough Performances

Notes and quotes on the first WorldSBK race from our man on the ground at Donington Park:

On a day when Nicky Hayden wasn't far from anyone's minds the WorldSBK paddock paid tribute to The Kentucky Kid. With a minute's silence, tribute videos and the Stars and Stripes fluttering in the breeze as fans lined Donington Park the American flag it was the racing that truly honored Hayden.

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2017 Donington Park World Supersport Race Results: Red Flag Followed By Action

The World Supersport race lasted four laps of a warm Donington Park until the red flag was brought out for a crashing Xavier Cardelus Garcia. The oil was cleaned up and the restart was thirteen laps after the now-familiar quick start procedure. PJ Jacobsen would be unable to make the restart, suffering from mechanical woes, leaving his place on the grid empty.

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Press Release: Nicky Hayden Official Obituary And Funeral Details

The Hayden family issued an official obituary of Nicky Hayden today, after he succumbed to the injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. They announced that Nicky Hayden's funeral is to be held at noon on Monday, 29th May, at St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro, Kentucky.

The funeral is to be streamed live on Nicky Hayden's fan Facebook page. If you would like to follow the funeral, you can work out what time it is in your local timezone using this link. If you would like to do something to honor his memory, the Hayden family have asked for donations to be made to the Nicky Hayden Memorial Fund, which helps children in the Owensboro, Kentucky region.


Nicholas Patrick Hayden
July 30, 1981 - May 22, 2017

Nicholas “Nicky” Hayden passed away on Monday, May 22, 2017, at the age of 35, following a May 17 bicycle accident in Italy.

Born into a large extended Catholic family in Owensboro, Kentucky, Nicky was the middle child of Earl and Rose Hayden, with two brothers and two sisters. The entire family loved motorcycles, and shortly after he could walk, Nicky declared that his dream was to be a world champion. Although life on a farm meant that animals—horses, pot-belly pigs, even llamas—were a part of every day, for Nicky they were just novelties, and while he was a natural athlete, childhood sports leagues were little more than a lark. Racing—for the whole family, but especially for Nicky—was everything. Apart from an annual spring-break jaunt to Panama City, Florida, family trips were to racetracks, first around the Midwest, then the Eastern U.S., and eventually the entire country.

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