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.
“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.”