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Tribute to Nicky Hayden

June 6, 2017 - Pilots
Tribute to Nicky Hayden

The News Fall like a hammer the Monday after the French GP: Nicky Hayden passes away

MotoGP™ Legend passes away following cycling accident in Italy

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of MotoGP™ Legend Nicky Hayden, after the American was involved in a collision with a car when cycling on the Riviera di Rimini last Wednesday. Hayden had been rushed to a local hospital before being transferred to the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena.

He later succumbed to injuries sustained and passed away on Monday evening. He was 35 years old.

We wish to pass on our deepest condolences to Hayden’s family, friends, team and fans at this difficult time.

Statement from Tommy Hayden, on behalf of the Hayden family:

“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.”

Remembering Nicky Hayden

Remembering and paying tribute to a true Champion, on and off track

MotoGP™ Legend Nicky Hayden sadly passed away on Monday, after the American was involved in a collision with a car whilst cycling on the Riviera di Rimini last week. A true Champion on and off track, Hayden will be deeply missed.

MotoGP™ Legend, 2006 World Champion, WorldSBK race winner, fiancé, uncle, brother, son, friend or simply the “Kentucky Kid” who rose from American dirt track to the absolute pinnacle of his sport, Hayden was known for many things to many people, and put his name to an astounding number of achievements both within racing and beyond its limits – key amongst which was his moniker as ‘the nicest man in Grand Prix racing’. A true competitor with an incredible commitment to his sport, and a true family man dedicated to the people around him.

First riding on the dirt in his native USA, Hayden then continued his career on tarmac and was crowned AMA Supersport Champion in 1999. Next came the AMA Superbike crown in 2002 – becoming the youngest rider to achieve the feat – before a move to the MotoGP™ World Championship for 2003. He took two podiums that year, at Motegi and Phillip Island, as a rookie. More podiums followed in 2004 before Hayden took his first pole and Grand Prix victory at Laguna Seca in 2005. The following year, the “Kentucky Kid” became the MotoGP™ World Champion as he beat Valentino Rossi to the premier class crown, securing the title in the last round of the year in Valencia.

He moved to Ducati in 2009 and, later, the Aspar team, before racing his last full season in MotoGP™ in 2015. He was then inducted into the MotoGP™ World Championship Hall of Fame at the season finale in Valencia.

The next challenge for the ‘Kentucky Kid’ was WorldSBK, where Hayden took a number of podiums and his first win in the class in his rookie year, besting difficult conditions at Sepang to join another exclusive club as he became a winner in both MotoGP™ and WorldSBK. The American also became the first MotoGP™ Legend to return to Grand Prix racing in 2016, as a replacement rider at Aragon and Phillip Island.

Hayden raced his last laps for Red Bull Honda World Superbike team at Imola, in Italy, on May 14th. The American’s dedication to competition was as strong as ever in his sophomore year in World Superbike, where he was once again proving his incredible work ethic, passion and dedication to two-wheeled motorsport.

Hayden will be deeply missed by the paddocks he has graced throughout an incredible career, his millions of fans around the world, and by all those closest to him. We wish to pass on our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, team and colleagues as we sadly bid farewell to the “Kentucky Kid” far too soon – a true legend of the sport, and to all those who knew him.

#RideOnKentuckyKid

Rossi on Hayden

Nine-time World Champion shows his support to his friend and 2006 title rival

Nicky is one of the best friends I have had in the paddock. We were teammates in his rookie year in 2003, when he was a young guy making his debut in his first European experience. That season ended with the World Championship for me and with his first visit to the podium, at Phillip Island. After a few years we fought for the title down to the last race in Valencia and, unfortunately for me, he won and became MotoGP™ World Champion. After the race we shook hands and hugged. Later we were again teammates during the difficult years at Ducati, when sometimes we would fight right down to the wire, maybe to get the last place in the top five. Nicky often came to the Ranch, where it was always spectacular to watch him and try to steal some of his secrets when we were battling, because he’s one of the fastest flattrackers in the world and before moving onto asphalt he won some of the biggest American flat track races like the Peoria TT.

But the best memory I have of him is when he came to shake my hand after the unfortunate race in Valencia in 2015, on the lap of honour. For him it was a goodbye to MotoGP™, and I had just lost the World Championship. His look of support from inside his helmet is one of the few positive memories I have from that day. Forza Nicky, we’re all with you.

Honda HRC message of condolence – Nicky Hayden

Honda HRC’s message of condolence following the passing of Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden was an HRC rider for much of his racing career, achieving many successes both in his home country and internationally. Nicky won the 1999 AMA Supersport Championship and the 2002 AMA Superbike Championship with American Honda and the 2006 MotoGP World Championship with Repsol Honda. Last year he moved to World Superbike Championship with Ten Kate Honda, winning a race in his first season.

Yesterday’s terrible news of the loss of the much-loved American due to the consequences of a cycling accident in Rimini, Italy, on Wednesday May 17, is a terrible blow for the entire motorcycling community and for everyone at HRC.

Yoshishige Nomura, HRC President: “On behalf of all HRC employees and our racing teams, I wish to express my deepest condolences to Nicky Hayden’s family, his fiancée and his many friends. Nicky has been such a close friend and member of the HRC family that it’s very hard to believe he is gone. Together we won two AMA titles and the 2006 MotoGP crown, and until his accident he was giving 100 percent to bring success to the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team. Nicky was a great rider and champion but he was an even better person. We always had the utmost respect for his racing spirit and for the commitment he showed on every occasion, while his charming character made him a favorite with the entire motorcycling world and race fans everywhere. At HRC we will never forget Nicky, who was very much one of us. Everyone at HRC is deeply saddened, but we will remember the many special memories we shared together with him. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family during this difficult moment.”