Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden Retrospective Part 2: The Winding Road To The Top

As a tribute to Nicky Hayden, who tragically died last week, succumbing to the injuries sustained in a cycling accident, we have been running a series of three articles over the past couple of days, by WorldSBK commentator and Paddock Pass Podcast member Steve English. You can read his tribute to Nicky here, and the first part on Hayden's early years in racing here.

The final part of Steve's tribute to Nicky Hayden examines the American's path through racing, from flat track to road racing, and his success in the AMA series. The lessons learned there, and the determination and talent he showed would eventually take Hayden to MotoGP. Written before Hayden's tragic death, the quotes from Nicky and from his father Earl are both still in the present tense. But Hayden's story is such a powerful one, it deserves to be heard as it was told.

The winding road to the top for a champion

The choices we make can have consequences for years. Nicky Hayden's choices as a teenager led him on a path to a world championship

In all walks of life the decisions that you make at an early age can have untold consequences in later life. Whether it's the college you decide to attend or your first job there are certain moments that become cornerstones of your life. For most people the choices can be corrected over the passing of time but for a motorcycle racer with a short career they can have huge consequences.

The pressure on young shoulders once racing transitions from a hobby to a career are huge. Families stake their financial future on a child in the hope rather than expectation it will all work out. In the current economic climate this risk is huge but it has always been the case. The Hayden family rolled the dice on their sons' racing careers and with a world championship trophy on the mantle back home in Owensboro, Kentucky it has worked out well for Nicky Hayden.

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Nicky Hayden Retrospective Part 1: A Journey Through His Past

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.

After Steve's tribute to Nicky Hayden posted earlier, the second article is part one of a long look back at Nicky's early years, and the passion for racing he developed in childhood. It explains some of the motivation which drove the American to such great heights of success. Written before Hayden's tragic death, the quotes from Nicky and from his father Earl are both still in the present tense. But Hayden's story is such a powerful one, it deserves to be heard as it was told.

Nicky Hayden, a journey through his past

Growing up in Kentucky Nicky Hayden was a motorcycle racing protegé from an early age but winning hasn't come easy to the Hayden family

Over the last 15 years Nicky Hayden has become on of the most recognisable faces in the motorcycle racing world. He's morphed from the Kentucky Kid to an old hand of the paddock and now the Kentucky Legend.

But where did that legendary status come from? Hard work, dedication and an insatiable love of racing are the traits that have made Hayden famous but the cornerstone has always been family and loyalty.

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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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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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Guest Video Blog: Freddie Spencer's Rider Insights On Le Mans, And Tribute To Nicky Hayden

MotoMatters.com, in association with Motor Sport Magazine, is proud to feature the rider insights of 1983 and 1985 500cc world champion Freddie Spencer. Every week after each MotoGP race, Fast Freddie will share what he saw and learned from the race.

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Press Release: Honda WorldSBK Team Pays Tribute To Nicky Hayden

The Red Bull Honda WorldSBK Team issued the following press release today, paying tribute to Nicky Hayden:


Honda WorldSBK management pay tribute to the late Nicky Hayden

The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team offers its most heartfelt condolences to Nicky’s family, his fiancée Jackie, his friends, fans and everyone who has been touched by the passing of one of the racing world’s most loved sons.

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Press Release: Ducati Riders Remember Nicky Hayden

After the test at Barcelona today, Ducati sent out the following press release, where their riders speak about Nicky Hayden:


Ducati Team riders express their condolences over the passing of Nicky Hayden

The riders of the Ducati Team, currently taking part in a two-day private test at the Circuit de Montmelò on the outskirts of Barcelona, have expressed their condolences over the loss of their former MotoGP fellow racer, Nicky Hayden, who yesterday afternoon succumbed to injuries he received while out training on his bicycle in Italy last Wednesday.

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Press Release: Marking The Passing Of Nicky Hayden

Press releases from a variety of teams and organizations marking the tragic death of Nicky Hayden:


Tragic death of Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), Imola circuit - 13 May 2017

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of the American motorcycle champion Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) following a cycling incident along the Riviera di Rimini on Wednesday 17 May.

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