MotoGP: Hayden’s iconic 69 to be retired

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Former world champion Nicky Hayden’s iconic number 69 will be retired from MotoGP at this year’s Grand Prix of the Americas. One of the most beloved riders ever to grace the grand Prix paddock, the news comes two years after Hayden was tragically killed in a cycling accident in Italy.

Joining the likes of Marco Simoncelli, Loris Capirossi and fellow American Kevin Schwantz, his number will officially be withdrawn from use at this year’s US race at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.

“I’m proud to announce that the number 69 will be retired from Grand Prix racing,” says Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports. “Nicky Hayden was one of the biggest assets to this paddock and a fantastic example as a rider both on track and off. It gives me great pleasure to honour his legacy once again and ensure the number 69 remains synonymous with a legend and a champion.”

“What a great honour it will be for Nicky’s #69 to be retired at Austin,” added Hayden’s father, Earl. “It is very fitting that it will be done at the US race as these races meant so much to Nicky and he looked forward to them so much every year. For myself in particular this will be very special event because the #69 was my number when I raced and I was very proud to see Nicky run the #69 on his bikes for his entire career.

“On behalf of my entire family I would like to say a special thanks to Dorna for honouring Nicky in this special way along with the many other gestures they have done to support us through the difficult times.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer