Motorcycling mourns tragic death of Nicky Hayden

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It has been announced that 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden has died, following a crash on Wednesday afternoon while training on his bike near the Misano circuit in Italy.

The 35-year-old was involved in a road accident with a car while training, getting hit by the vehicle at a junction, and was taken to a local hospital. He was then transferred to another nearby hospital for further assessment. 

He has remained critically ill since with his family at his bedside, but today succumbed to his injuries.

Nicky was a true all-rounder, excelling not only in the premiere class to take the 2006 world title from Valentino Rossi but also in his early years as an AMA Pro flat Track racer and as a production bike rider both in the AMA Superbike series and more recently in World Superbikes for the Red Bull Honda team.

More than a racer, though, he was also loved by the paddock and his fellow competitors. One of the few people that no one would ever have a bad word to say about, the American was rare in having taken a championship without ever made an enemy in MotoGP – something acknowledged in the huge outpouring of grief and comfort from riders, teams, media and organisers since the news first broke of his crash yesterday afternoon.

That also extended to his fans, making him one of the most popular riders ever to grace the class. Both humbling and humble despite his successes, the Kentucky Kid loved interacting with his fans both online and in person, always having time to sign an autograph or pose for a selfie.

Motorcycle News joins the wider racing fraternity in sending our deepest sympathies to Nicky’s fiancé Jackie, his parents Earl and Rose, his siblings Tommy, Jenny, Nicky, Roger, and Kathleen, and to his family, friends, and fans.

Rest in peace, champ.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer