Nicky Hayden Has Died

Nicky Hayden died today as a results of the injuries he sustained in a cycling accident. He died surrounded by his family, at 7:09pm CEST, at the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy.

The exact circumstances of Hayden's accident are unclear. All that is know is that Hayden was out cycling alone on Wednesday, 17th May near the Misano circuit, and was hit by a car. The force of the impact was such that he immediately sustained life-threatening injuries. Hayden was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe brain and chest injuries, and taken to intensive care.

Hayden's injuries proved to be so fatal that there was no hope of recovery. He died at 7:09pm on Monday, 22nd of May at the hospital in Cesena.

Nicky Hayden lived for racing, from a very young age. He came from a racing family, both his father Earl and mother Rose having raced flat track. He started riding bikes almost before he could walk, and racing not long afterwards. He raced flat track, as well as minibikes and 125cc.

When he turned sixteen, Hayden started racing in AMA Supersport, becoming the youngest ever rider to win the AMA Supersport 600 title in 1999. In 2000, he moved up to the AMA Superbike class, becoming the youngest ever AMA Superbike champion in 2002. 

Hayden moved to MotoGP in 2003, joining the Repsol Honda team, where he won the rookie of the year award and scored two podiums at the end of that season. He won his first MotoGP race in 2005, when the series returned to Laguna Seca, and finally realized his dream of becoming world champion in 2006, in one of the most eventful and dramatic seasons in Grand Prix motorcycle history. 

Though Hayden never repeated that success, he never stopped trying. From the Repsol Honda team, he moved to the factory Ducati squad in 2009, where he remained until the end of the 2013 season. From there, he spent two years in the Aspar team, riding a Honda in the new Open class.

In 2016, Hayden moved to World Superbikes, joining the Ten Kate squad, where he hoped to become the first rider ever to win both MotoGP and World Superbike titles. He won one race, at Sepang, and finished fifth in the championship.

Nicky Hayden was well known and universally admired in racing paddocks around the world. His work ethic was second to none, the first to hit the track at a test, and the last to leave. He never gave up hope when racing, never started a race he didn't think he could win, never complained about his team or the bike, and never gave anything but 100% at everything he did. His death leaves an enormous hole in the world of motorcycle racing that will not be filled.

We send our condolences and best wishes to the Hayden family. May he rest in peace.

Nicky Hayden:  30th July, 1981 - 22nd May, 2017.

Below is the press release issued by the Red Bull Honda World Superbike team, announcing Hayden's death:


Statement from Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

It is with great sadness that Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has to announce that Nicky Hayden has succumbed to injuries suffered during an incident while riding his bicycle last Wednesday.

Nicky passed away at 19:09 CEST this evening at Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. His fiancée Jackie, mother Rose and brother Tommy were at his side.

Throughout his career Nicky’s professionalism and fighting spirit was greatly valued and carried him to numerous successes, including his childhood dream of being crowned MotoGP World Champion with Honda in 2006. As well as being a true champion on the track, Nicky was a fan favourite off it due to his kind nature, relaxed demeanour, and the huge smile he invariably carried everywhere.

Nothing says more about Nicky’s character than the overwhelming response expressed by fellow racers and his legions of fans over the past few days. Jackie and his family are truly grateful for the countless prayers and well wishes for Nicky.

The ‘Kentucky Kid’ will be sorely missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting him or the privilege to see him race a motorcycle around a track, be it dirt or asphalt.

The racing world says goodbye to one of its dearest sons. Rest in peace Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Patrick Hayden.

Tommy Hayden

“On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky’s fiancée Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support – it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way.

“Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that.

“Apart from these ‘public’ memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. We will all miss him terribly.

“It is also important for us to thank all the hospital staff for their incredible support – they have been very kind. With the further support of the authorities in the coming days we hope to have Nicky home soon.”

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Comments

How fortunate I was to be able to see him win at Laguna both in '05 and '06 (in the sweltering heat).    I remember seeing him walking to the pit lane with that huge grin on his face.    What a pleasure it was to watch him wrap '06 up with that unforgettable last race in Valencia.   What a loss... RIP Nicky.

Total votes: 201

I was also at the 2005 race.  And, I remember him in AMA telling the track announcer how he almost couldn't finish high school.  Sad... the training should not be more dangerous than the sport.

Total votes: 97

I grew up with Nicky in the world of racing...as a fan...we are nearly the same age, and I spent my summers in Springfield, at the Mile, from a very, very young age...I immediately took to Nicky as a fan because of his riding style, character and age.  I followed his career before many knew him, as he split time between flat track and roadracing...followed the whole family in that way.  I felt a special connection to the Haydens due to the flat track roots, and it was just so gratifying to see another graduate from those dusty tracks win at the highest level.  Especially one such as Nick.  I stood outside of T5 in Laguna in '06, to watch him take his second GP vitory and have remained a steadfast supporter of his through the years and was VERY much looking forward to his destined return to flat track, seeking the grand slam.  Talked about it for years...such sadness.  Godspeed Nicky...all the best to the wonderful family and to his fiance.  Just terrible...

Total votes: 163

My heart goes out to Jackie, and to his family and friends.

Thanks for sharing your life with us Nicky.

Total votes: 155

Very sad news. I will always remember being there in the stands at Assen 06 and the immense cheer he got from the crowd that day.

Total votes: 156

I don't really know what to say.

I remember reading it for the first time and thinking that he's gonna spring up from that, because you know, they always do.

We're so used to these guys beating all the odds, doing lap times that even most professionals could only dream of, only to get off the bike and start hopping on crutches, so it seems that they will always do that, no matter what.

It's not sinking in yet, I still have that feeling that's telling me I'm gonna see him on the grid come next race.

I think I'll print a #69 sticker for my cycling helmet, I always like to pay a small tribute and let the world know that the fold doesn't just easily forget one of it's own.

Total votes: 158

Not only in just seeing him race, but being invited one Bike Week to sit with the family at the Daytona infield to watch him racing superbikes.  The man has been THE hero to me for the last 20 years, and I'm going to miss him.

Total votes: 153

No!
Tears wet my face as I write.
Loss and despair don't remain particular to a specific thing in my experience, rather we are immersed into the oceanic great sorrow.
I have been running Nicky Hayden's helmet from 12 yrs ago since seeing him win at Laguna. His face when he won the title, on the bike, helmet off and tears of joy, it has been with me and shall remain. All the Haydens are an unusually good lot.

Of course there isn't something right to say. We here in Portland Oregon USA just a week ago lost our first racer on track in 25 yrs or so. Kelly was a beautiful vibrant person living fully and richly. I stopped racing following a big crash for me and another for a good friend that changed us. My team lost beloved (and FAST) Peter Lenz. We don't get to have none of these. Thankfully very few.

All of us, being here as life, lose everything. A break from psychotherapy had me doing full time care for complicated end of life needs at a big hospital for 5 yrs. It struck me that what everyone was wrestling with was not just a fear of dying and the unknown, but that they were acutely aware of the preciousness and brevity of being here. Was I sufficiently present, did me and this life really have our way with each other? Did I love life well?

Not only am I going to go back and watch everything I can re The Kentucky Kid with great appreciation. I will try to allow it to touch me, to lean into it like Nicky would a corner that asks more of you than you believe is possible. I am going to also watch the 2008 North West 200 250cc race. It has been what I do EVERY time we lose a racer since that race, because it answers for me the question of "should we still be racing?"

Nicky Hayden well and truly and fully lived. His relentless effort and inexhaustible good nature can't be praised enough. His confidence and courage were home grown. I hope I can be as clear about myself in this regard. You did great kid!

Total votes: 219

The worst poosible news---RIP Nicky---a great champion and a great man---I've known Nicky since he was a young kid---my friend, Merlyn Plumlee was Nicky's Superbike mechanic during his American Honda years---both gone now---great sadness, I feel like I've lost a family member---RIP champ and say hi to Merlyn...

Total votes: 164

This is so utterly sad. Nicky so very much deserved a really good season with luck on his side, but instead this happens. It's unreal. I was so excited when he went to Superbikes and really hoping and even expecting him to do really well, with a realistic chance to become the first rider to win both the MotoGP and Superbike world title. It was painful to watch him struggle with a clearly uncompetitive bike, and I was hoping his time would still come, maybe next year. And now all that seems so futile. And at the same time extra sad. Confusing. 

Motorcycle racing just lost one of their biggest ambassadors. R.I.P. Nicky, and my condolances to his fiancee and family. He will be missed by many.

Total votes: 175

Terrible news. Such a kind and gentle man. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet and ride a bit with him back in 2007 when he was reigning GP Champ at Freddie Spencer's riding school.

Nicky was kind to all of us wanna-bes at the school and he was completely unpretentious. I hope his family will one day find peace following their loss.

Enjoy the tracks in Heaven, Nicky, and rest in peace. 

 

Total votes: 166

always reflected their joy at doing what they loved. When seen at the tracks they seemed still thrilled to be there and very much a family. Everyone I knew felt like they knew Nicky and, if they were lucky enough to meet him, he made you feel you were just like him, you could be doing what he was doing...

In an increasingly vain world where 'celebrities' are created and images are carefully built with no achievements worth talking about, it is a travesty that we can lose someone so talented and my use of the word talented here also means he was a very nice man who also scaled the pinnacle of one of the most demanding, dangerous but beautiful sports. 

I am still entranced by motorcycle racing after over 40 years because being 35 years a road rider I STILL cannot imagine how they do it; the speed, the will, the effort and the talent-How??  The only real downer about being a part of this fabulous community is that because we all dance on the precipice (to wildly varying degrees), some of us fall over it. I know the family will be devastated but I hope as the grief becomes more manageable that the pride for Nicky is what shines through it because Nicky Hayden was someone any good person would be proud of.

Total votes: 224

Like so many, Nicky was our standard bearer and we followed him and cheered for him, and respected him and loved him...and now he is gone. The world is a much lesser place without Nicky Hayden. His kindness, caring, professionalism, his gratitude and grace were there for all to see. We will miss you , Nicky. All thoughts are with the entire Hayden family as they deal with the loss of their(and our) beloved Nicky...

Total votes: 158

It still feels unreal, confusing.

It's especially sad because, besides the phenomenal talent and skills, he always seemed to be a really nice guy, down to earth, so unlike many of the petulant/arrogant big headed guys that you can see in the sport.

His MotoGP World Champion title (in 2006) was very emotional (it went down to the very last race, remember?).
That day, how it was at Valencia 2006, is how I'll always remember Nicky Hayden.

 

Total votes: 180

I've looked up to Nickys commitment, postive attitude, and determination for years now. The world lost a truely great competitor and one that all people in every sport should try to emulate. 

I quickly glanced at some of the top news sites here in the states and American media should be ashamed. I haven't found one article on the front page of any news site that mentions this trajedy. Nicky gave his all to bring the crown home to the US. He desrves better. 

You will be greatly missed #69

Total votes: 138

He always came across as not just a massively talented racer, MotoGP World Championships against Valentino in his pomp do not grow on trees,  but a genuinely really, really nice bloke. Not 'professionally' nice, not superficially nice with a dark side reserved for his enemies, but just a truly nice bloke who was, you would think were it not for his epic trophy collection including that World Championship, completely temperamentally unsuited for a place at the pinnacle of motorcycle sport.  

The fickle finger of fate really is a complete b*st*rd, sometimes... 

Total votes: 171

No words, just terrible sadness. Racing world lost a champion. We all lost a great human being

Total votes: 168

Thanks for the memories, thanks for the thrills, thanks for being who you are so millions of children around the world had someone they could truly look up to, a gentleman, a sportsman, but a man not afraid to kick some ass on the track all while having that huge grin of yours. Thanks for representing your home with grace. Thanks for your humility. Thanks for your generosity. Thanks for being a kind person. Thanks for chasing your dreams so we could too.

I'm going to miss you. R.I.P.

I recently had a baby boy, and man, it tears me up that he doesnt have you to look up to. I had the pleasure of meeting your father once, and you are made of the best stuff.

See you on the other side

Total votes: 182

My first comment on this site after years of reading (lurking).  Before I get to the subject of substance today, I'd just like to say that it's somehow comforting to know that many like minded people are feeling the same way I am today.

I can remember the first time I paid attention to Nicky.  Sears Point, AMA Supersport, late 90s.  Nicky was riding a GSXR-600, chasing down Miguel Du Hamel in the last laps - if there were red helmets back then these would be the brightest shade - but then Nicky launched the Gixxer sky high into the hairpin.  Complete destruction of motorcycle.  But to me, and I'm sure many more, Nicky had arrived on the scene.  A few years later he's on the V5 Honda, teammate to Valentino.  And we all know the rest from there...

Today is a really sad day.  The racing world has lost one of the very best, exceeded in ability only by character.   He made the world a better place, and I miss him already.  

RIP Nicky... now go do some kick-ass stand-up wheelies with Marco.  

 

Total votes: 149

I love the vision of Nicky and Marco doing horn monos...

This will take a while to sink in. RIP Nicky.

Total votes: 150

Very sad news indeed. I too hoped Nicky would enjoy the good fortune he so deserved in superbikes, as much as anything because he just seemed like a genuinely decent bloke. He'll be much missed.

Total votes: 160

While I lived in Europe, Nicky was one of the few individuals I could look to and be proud to be American.

This is a terrible loss. 

Total votes: 159

A very sad day indeed... one of the nicest people I ever got to meet. His loss leaves a great void in the lives of us fans of this great sport. 

Total votes: 129

He never knew me yet, I feel as if I lost a friend.  I'm so angry and saddened by his passing.  Its always the good guys who go before their time.

He was genuine and friendly like no other celebrity I've ever met.
 
At the NYC Motorcycle show in 2010.  I approach him as he is walking off a stage after answering questions from the crowd.  Marker in hand and a black bag with my leathers in them.  "Hi.  I'm a big fan of yours.  You mind signing my leathers before you go?"   
 
(because riding with signed leathers makes my Ducati at least 10kph an hour faster than yours)
 
No big deal except he actually looked me in the eye, engaged with me as an individual, spoke to me as a person and cracked a joke before moving on to the next fan.  "Now don't let me see these on eBay tomorrow!"  
 
No Nicky.  Not going on eBay.  Thanks for the memories on and off the track.
 

DSCN1466

 
Total votes: 152

Of course I only knew Nicky like most of us, as a fan. A fan of an enthusiastic motorcycle racer with a big heart and broad smile. Lean in like the best!! Never complaining about the less than ideal machines, always positive and looking to the next chance to improve. A great ambassador for the sport, a good example for up-coming racers and children alike!

Like a bullet. That's my recollection from both US GPs at Laguna Seca where he took top spot (2005 and 2006). From the hill across the track, you can see the racers streak down the front straight. Nicky got a lead and ran across that section...all by himself. Lap after lap the red-orange streak. A thrill to this day to watch the American Kid excell at home at the Welcome Back MotoGP event. God speed to my favorite racer. 

Total votes: 110

Go raise hell with Marco,we will miss as much as we have Marco

Total votes: 116

Hard to take in. Nicky's rookie year in MotoGP was the same time I started trackdays. His down to earth personality made me an instant fan. I will miss you.

"Never give up, never give in!"

Total votes: 102

I have been a long time fan of Nicky, since his AMA days riding Supersport. Met his mom and dad at an AMA race in Fontana. I wanted Earl to sign the shirt I bought, and he added all three boys' names as well. Good on ya and thank you, Mr. Hayden!

Our collective heart as racers and fans is so very very sad right now. Channeling all the plaudits from others on this website, and more. Carmelo Ezpeleta/MotoGP was so right in awarding him Legend status.

It seems appropriate to wish him Godspeed on Motomatters.

Total votes: 115

Terrible loss to his family and friends, the motorcycling community and the wider world.  Nicky had such good humour in all situations and a warm and open and engaging personality.  Loved the sport but also seemed to know how to always keep it in perspective and in doing so helped the fans keep it in perspective.  It's only an observation from afar but we've lost among the nicest people to ever grace the sport.

Total votes: 86

There is some suggestion that a small section of early Greek philosophically which was followed in times of death was marked by asking "Don't tell me what he did, tell me if he had passion."

Judging by the way Nicky Hayden reacted to events there is no doubt he was fueled by enormous passion, drive and motivation for what he did.

I don't care how many races he won or world championships he achieved, as far as I'm concerned, he was the best there ever was when it comes to his passion for this sport and a will to win.

You can't do better than that.

Good on you Nicky Hayden.

 

 

Total votes: 155

I was reminded today by a photo of co-heros.  Nicky and Merlyn.  Humble, fast, and human.  Both were able to excel and reach inside to achieve the pinicals of the sport together.  I remain fortunate and humbled  to have crossed paths with each.  The world is just a little bit smaller with the losses too soon.

Total votes: 152

RIP Nicky, all the best to his family

Total votes: 81

That smile, and the ever present silent courage behind that smile is one of the many many lasting impressions you have left us with. While we cherish them all, we will miss you all the more. Godspeed #69

Total votes: 95

I might be heartless and a callous annoyance, but I find your statement disturbing: 'The exact circumstances of Hayden's accident are unclear. All that is know is that Hayden was out cycling alone on Wednesday, 17th May near the Misano circuit, and was hit by a car.' No, they are not unclear. It has been by now widely reported and precisely understood, with hard evidences, how it all happened. Yes, we know 'THAT CARS NEED TO BE MORE CAREFUL AROUND OTHER FORMS OF TRANSPORT' and 'car drivers are scum', in your respected opinion and words. However, in this specific article you don't seem to express an opinion, but to make a report, which should be, if ever possible, neutral in judgement. Yours, I'm afraid, it is not so, but biased by your strong personal views.
Although at this moment it might seem out of touch to be so concerned by such details and the actual dynamics of events don't make a difference whatsoever to the seriously heart-breaking outcome, your words will remain here for everyone to reference to for a very long time, when the shock will have passed and minds will look for long-lasting answers. As I don't expect that you will write another article about the said circumstances in the future, as that would not be fitting to your style and the blog general contents, this present statement would very likely be the only one about it. We also know that people are not generally keen on researching deeply into facts and many might stop at your statement and take it as their own answer. Your statement, as it stands, makes a disservice to cyclists: let's be honest and help them understand that they can be in the wrong too. Grown ups should be able to deal with their own shortcomings, unless cycling is now a religion and thus have the characteristics of all revealed truths.
'People need to be more careful around other people ears/eyes', especially the respected ones with a large audience, as I believe you deservedly are. If you don't want to dwell into pointless descriptions of events in a time of mourning, maybe just avoid touching them entirely.
I say this all for one reason only: a man lost his life and another man had his ruined forever, because of the same accident. They both deserve a touch of respect.

Total votes: 192

I didn't quite understand why there was such a strong reaction to the article and couldn't find the referenced 'offensive' line at all until I eventually noticed it at the top of the page.  Note that the comments on that line are not permanently tied to the article and they change from day to day and so the comment about it being permanent are wrong.  They are daily thoughts and this one would actually have no relevance at all outside of the current time period.  Clearly it is inspired by the events but don't read it as a judgement of the car driver.  I didn't.

The article also clearly states that it is unclear what happened, to make the distinction with the comment above it.  Why you think it is very clear what happened I don't know.  As of writing this comment, as far as I can see, it is known that the car hit nicki from the side in an intersection but whether that was as a result of nicky or the car going through the intersection incorrectly (or both) can't been ascertained from current reports.

However, I agree with your final line.  Apportioning blame does nothing to address the sorrow and loss, nor does looking for someone to rail against.

Total votes: 107

Nothing offensive about the referenced line at the top of the page, which I used only to clarify the blog's owner and editor point of view on cycling. Also the other strong judgement on car drivers was made by David Emmett on his twitter feed not so long ago. Pardon me if I generated confusion in my own writing by using them. I only meant to react to the longer sentence in the article itself.

Actually the italian police was pretty adamant on their findings, making a statement exactly on these lines. I guess they can be relied upon and a little and careful check on available info would at least give a good backing to it.

Apportioning blame is not useful in itself. Understanding and openness in accepting that there is not only one side to a story though, that goes a long way. As David Emmett has an audience, I believe that in making statements - not venting opinions - as a reporter in this case, he has a responsibility. Obviously I don't pretend for him to even take my criticism into account, but I suppose I am still allowed to it, as I don't mean to insult or patronize. If I ever did, I apologize.

Sorrow and loss are incurable, thus I didn't even attempt to address those, while prevention and learning are more of my interest. Two people today will not have the privilege of the latters anymore, but others can.

 

Total votes: 129

As far as I have been able to find out, the incident is still under investigation. A CCTV video from a nearby house is being studied by police investigators, and a report is due on the crash in mid-July.

The facts that we know for certain are that Nicky Hayden was out cycling, and was hit by a car when he pulled out of a side road onto the main road between Misano and Tavoleto. It is suspected that he may not have stopped at a stop sign on the exit of the Via Ca' Raffaelli, but we do not know this for certain. There is no data on what speed the driver of the car was travelling at. There have been reports that he was travelling at above the speed limits, but this, we also do not know for certain.

This is what I mean by "the exact circumstances of Hayden's accident are unclear". We know approximately what happened. We do not know precisely what happened. 

I could travel to Italy, and spend a couple of weeks trying to investigate the exact circumstances of Hayden's death. I would have to hire an interpreter to do so, as my Italian is enough to understand what is going on in a racing situation, but not enough to understand the subtleties of language when interviewing witnesses, if there were any. The costs of such an investigation would probably be around half my entire travel budget for all the MotoGP races this season, and frankly, I don't think I am a good enough investigative journalist to research the story properly and thoroughly. Hence my decision to use the wording I did. I will wait for the official police report to be published.

Your returning to statements I made on Twitter about the case of Chris Froome being knocked off his bicycle on purpose by someone in a car are not relevant here, and not relevant to my reporting on this story. The fact is that the exact circumstances are not known, and I have no wish to apportion blame in this matter.

The only thing we can say for certain is that cyclists are vulnerable road users, and that cyclists themselves need to be aware of that, but that other road users, including car drivers, need to be aware of that vulnerability too. Public roads are dangerous places for all road users, and road users should be aware of that.

The intersection where the crash apparently happened is also a rather dangerous point. There are lots of obstacles and small side roads, and traffic tends to be sporadic rather than constant. The roads are well worn, and road markings are often missing. Signposts are often obscured by vegetation, and there are a lot of blind bends that can obscure the vision of road users. That in itself creates a lot of dangerous situations, and traffic accidents are common there. Usually, as I drive back up to Bologna after the Misano Grand Prix, the Italian radio will have reports on how many people died in traffic accidents over the race weekend.

Total votes: 138

While we have no clear idea of what happened immediately before the crash, what does seem evident is that the car driver had no chance of avoiding any biker or car that pulled out onto the two lane highway.  (If that's what actually happened.)  Here's the driver's view of the interesection. https://goo.gl/maps/iS2DQY38P322

Nicky was supposedly coming from the right, where the white van can be seen in the next frame.  (Use up arrow to move forward.)  If you 'drive' still further down the road, you can see the grassy area where Nicky's bike wound up.  

Here's a view from Hayden's supposed perspective.  https://goo.gl/maps/aj7td7yNQh22  This isn't the sort of intersection any biker would blow off.  (And I can't imagine Nicky being the reckless type - he's seen and experienced too many examples of what happens when speeding objects collide.) Even if the hedge had been trimmed lower, or other modifications had been made to the landscaping, the view up the road is limited.  

Gotta think Nicky suffered a brief distraction (bee sting, or other freakish event) or was possibly (?) punted into traffic by a car behind?  Maybe the stop signs were down due to vandalisim, or construction, or god-knows-what?  :(

Total votes: 143

I went through all that and compared pictures from the aftermath also.
Whatever the reason why Hayden found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is not just sad but angering to see an avoidable accident ruining so many lives, his own first of all but not only. In my experience - as a former cyclist and also biker and car driver, as said elsewhere - too often it is down to cyclists to underestimate certain risks, no matter how generally smart, capable and experienced they are. It is not a matter of appointing blame, it is rather a cry for people to look after themselves and give the right perspective to the dangers they put themselves and others in.

Total votes: 135

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to reply. In reading my own words again, I see that I used some term inappropriately, giving excessive strength to certain assumptions. My apologies for it. I do, however, hold onto my general view of the said dynamics.

All the same, my intention remains unchanged: it's easy to jump at the throat of car drivers, less so to see wrongdoings in other categories of road users, namely 'the weakest ones'. Everyone sharing a public space where heavy machinery - cars, vans and lorries are no different to a forklift, they just look friendlier - moves at speed must pay attention. Even a silly pedestrian crossing while texting is not a danger for himself only, but could easily endanger lives around him - chain reactions to emergency manoeuvres.

Also, do we define vulnerability only on a physical level? Only potential for bodily harm is regarded as worthy of attention? How about a man who will have to live for the rest of his life with the burden of having killed another man, although mostly not because of his own doing and with no chance to avoid it? Accidents are what they are and happen all the time, of course, and there is no way to achieve full safety ever. Still, prevention and learning are possible, and that comes from understanding.

Why did I 'pick on you' and refer to your statements in other loosely related matters? Because you generalized badly and reiterated it later with full conviction. Once you defined your point of view so strongly, I see only as consistent to apply it to each matter in which the same elements are at play. As I have a great deal of admiration for your work - and then consequently for your intelligence - it pained me to see a shortsighted approach on such a serious matter.

Then there is the matter of road layouts and maintenance levels: sure in most of Italy these are below reasonable safety - I know that well as an Italian myself, formerly a cyclist and also a biker and a car driver - but that just calls for higher levels of care from the road users in the short, or rather immediate, term. One deals with what one gets. In the long term, it is an entirely different matter.

All this said, it is not my intention to pester you or bother you - if thus I am seen doing - any longer on these matters, unless you require so of me. Thank you again.

Total votes: 130

... the circumstances do not change the outcome (more in reference to the poster above David)

The racing world lost one of the most hard-working, respectable, friendly personalities in motorsport. 

Attempting to lay blame will not change the outcome, and whether it was due to negligence on the part of Nicky, the driver, or both - very few can claim to follow all of the rules, to the letter, all of the time.  Laying blame or determining guilt will not bring him back.

RIP Nicky, you will be missed.

Total votes: 168

Correct Bonzofatto, you are a heartless prat ! You seem to be in the wrong place to voice your half-arsed opinions ! These people are grieving a well loved and respected young man who was taken too soon.

Coming here to point fingers and engage in snide commentary about bicyclists is in the poorest taste. Unfortunately, the internet spawns spineless trolls like you by the thousands (even ones who aren't ESL handicapped...)

As David stated, the facts surrounding Nicky's accident are NOT entirely clear and if the "hard evidence" you're referring to is the reported residential security video, perhaps you might wait until the police conclude their investigation before declaring it case closed !!!

David's report is impartial and in no way prejudicial to anyone involved in last Wednesday's tragic events. Respect has been given to both parties. The only difference from your version of events being that one man will live to learn from his mistakes...

Oh, and by the way, as a 30 year veteran (and survivor) of urban motorcycling and cycling CAR DRIVERS DO NEED TO TAKE MORE CARE AROUND OTHER, MORE VULNERABLE ROAD USERS !

Total votes: 142

You seem to have lost it. I didn't insult anybody and so I don't expect to be insulted myself. I didn't judge any road user either - contrary to others - but I put a word of advice. Free to take it or not, no need to get out of your way about it.
Beside, you clearly didn't understand anything of what I meant or maybe I was not clear enough myself. Given your reaction, I guess you didn't care to try. You will be most welcome to not refer to me again, as you evidently lack basic manners to do so.

Total votes: 129

As English is obviously not your first language Bonzofatto, let's go to school.

Firstly, you speak of manners, yet here you are, apportioning blame for the accident and accusing the author of bias, amongst a group whose sole purpose right now is to engage in a communal outpouring of grief. You offered no condolences, nor expressed any sadness, but proceeded to lecture us about "the importance of hard facts". Despite your admission that you may appear heartless & callous, the ill-timed and sheer inappropriate nature of your comments seem lost on you. These people don't need your overtly intellectual, needlessly verbose rationalizations; they merely want to share with each other what Nicky Hayden meant to them personally. You can keep your "advice".

You did indeed judge other road users, by claiming that the facts of an unresolved investigation are "widely reported and precisely understood, with hard evidences". Unless you are one the police investigators, perhaps you're just forming opinions about the events based on what you've read in clickbait internet articles (like everyone else...). Referring to cycling as "a religion" with "the characteristics of all revealed truths" points to a degree of contempt for cyclists, a cynical remark that could easily be seen as judgmental. And you've judged David unfairly based on your reaction to a header tagline that simply asks drivers to be more careful around other road users.

I understood exactly what you were attempting to communicate (essentially that no one is truly blameless in a road accident and that we must all guard against leaping to conclusions), but as you say, it was poorly expressed. I will feel most welcome to refer to you again for as long as you want to discuss this, but I suspect both of us will rapidly tire of this conversation.

I was sincerely enjoying reading people's reminiscences of Nicky (my own being him beating Valentino to the 2006 WC), until I came across your glaringly out of place comment and felt compelled to voice my annoyance...

 

Total votes: 124

I truly believe he was robbed of further WCs by the 800s, not his style and designed around Dani.

Here was a man who knew how to ride one of those rip-snortin' 990 V5s.... By the horns!

And such a nice guy too. They always go too early.

RIP Nicky.

Total votes: 102

Yes, the circumstances of Hayden's accident have become more generally known, and it appears prima facie that this was truly a sad accident in which the car driver had no chance of avoiding the result.  As motorcyclists, we all have memories of incidents with car drivers that prejudice us against accepting that they may be innocent of lack of due regard for others.  

I never expected to re-appear on this site, but Nicky Hayden's death is as tragic to me as Mike Hailwood's:  so far removed from the risks they faced in their 'professional' life, but taking from us people who we could unreservedly look up to as BOTH sublime exponents of the art of riding the fastest devices on the planet and yet gentle, loveable, fine examples of  the very best of humanity that we would be more than honoured to be considered amongst.

Shock numbs us from a full appreciation of all the circumstances of an event.  Our responses are not the result of considered opinion but the reaction to something to which we are not trained or experienced to handle.  It comes from the hind-part of the brain: an instinctive reaction to something, not one that reveals our intellectual processes.

I believe we all have to accept that shock in reaction to Nicky's death, comes from emotion - an unreliable source of insight into the cognitive process. 

I had looked forward to Nicky being one of the shining lights of commentary on the whole motoGp milieu in his retirement from racing. That won't happen, due to circumstances that are, frankly, a measure of fate intervening on the desired outcomes.

When Joey Dunlop died, I believe about 50,000 people mached in his memory.  Joey, like Hailwood and Nicky, was one of those people that enriched the whole compass of humanity. 

Blame for this accident is irrelevant.  It just does not MATTER to sort out the responsibility: the world has lost a soul we would all want to have with us.

Nicky, you now sit at the table of the heroes, the legends, the people who make us proud as a species.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total votes: 116

Rip Nicky. Great guy worked hard didnt complain always smile

You passed away way to soon. I always remember your dance on the podium.

You wil NOT be forgotten

Total votes: 90

I have one abiding memory of him - sitting on an HRC Honda MotoGP bike just before the warm-up lap, being interviewed by Suzi Perry (I think), and he had had the most cheeky smile as if he had no care in the world and was doing what he loved. That smile epitomoised Nicky and his warmth and joy.

Total votes: 139

such sad, sad news. have watched Nicky for many years racing here at Phillip Island. Always hugely popular here for his smile, his great attitude to media and fans, and most of all, his ability to ride fast.

Nicky - and to Nicky's family and friends. thank you from this one fan of MotoGP and Superbikes. Nicky showed the heart of a true champion every year no matter what. I'm gutted.

 

Total votes: 120

What a terrible turn of events.  So sad.

I spend way too much time watching most grand prix sessions, all the races, poring over the details and excellent pieces of analysis the like we see on motomatters.  I revere and respect these crazy guys and the odd girl who I have come to understand are simply wired up differently to the rest of us.  Their skill, courage, tenacity and sheer bloodyminded will to compete never fail to amaze me.  But for all my enthusiasm for the sport, there are few riders I would actually like to meet.  I get the impression that once off the bike most are not particularly nice people or even very interesting.  Nicky Hayden was one of the exceptions, because I think I would have walked away from a meeting with him feeling better than before.

I never met him but I feel a loss far more significant that I would have thought.  My thoughts are with those who knew him well.

Finally, now is not the time for jumping to conclusions or sprouting ones biases - either anti car or anti bicycle.  The car driver deserves the right to be considered innocent until the facts are officially established, and Nicky Hayden and his family deserve some dignity while they bring him home, grieve and say their final goodbyes.

Total votes: 119

I just read that his organs were donated for transplant as per his wishes. I like to think that his great heart is still beating, bringing life to another person.
He was great in every way

Total votes: 155

I love the idea of Nicky's heart beating on. Thank you for letting a bit of sun peek through the clouds again.

And how lucky that recipient would be.

Total votes: 171

Nicky Hayden's passing is a shock.  Somehow I thought he would pull through.  Just found out this morning.  Hayden was a good person, classy when everyone else seemed to go trashy on subjects.  Always took the higher route even in circumstances that had his detractors feeling for him.  Set the standard for being a team player in a sport that many times has nothing but self centered ego maniacs.  He was always available to fans even after strenuous situations.  Never struck out when being done wrong.  Just did his best to let his riding do the talking.  If World Championships were handed out for being fair, classy, and hard working, he would have been Champion many times over.  Even Rossi did not play head games with him like he did with pretty much everyone that challenged him in the Championship.  In fact, you could say that Nicky being such a nice dude, which is something Rossi said before he lost the title in the final race, affected Rossi's ability to focus.  ;)

 

RIP Nicky Hayden.  You will always a World Champion to me.

Total votes: 164

RIP Nicky... Sometimes it shows that life is something that we will never understand. Thank you for everything. I think the only thing we can do now is learn from what you teached us

Total votes: 126

I've just seen this early this morning.  I'm slightly out of touch.  This news of Nicky's passing along with the bombings in Manchester have really gotten me.

Nicky Hayden was an amazing rider, gracious champion, and truly joins the ranks  of the legendary American motorcyclists.

Ride On Nicky.  You will be sorely missed.

Total votes: 82