We’re desperately sad to be bringing you the news that former MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden has died after succumbing to injuries he sustained in a collision with a car while riding his bicycle.
The 35-year-old American 2006 champion, who took the crown away from the legendary and, at the time, invincible Valentino Rossi, was reportedly hit by a car at a junction near the Misano circuit in Italy last Wednesday afternoon, remaining critically ill since then until his tragic death earlier today.
Motorcycle News calls Hayden “one of the few people [in MotoGP] that no one would ever have a bad word to say about. The American was rare in having taken a championship without ever having made an enemy in MotoGP.”
Before graduating to MotoGP, Hayden raced in flat-track championships, the AMA Superbike series and latterly in World Superbikes with Red Bull Honda. He is survived by his fiancee, to whom we send our heartfelt condolences.
Red Bull Honda released a statement yesterday emphasising the seriousness of his injuries, stating that Hayden had been fighting for his life in the intensive care unit of Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena. As a MotoGP fan who was watching during Hayden’s de-throning of Rossi, who had moved to Yamaha after a falling-out with Honda, I can say that Hayden made memories for a lot of us.
Rest in peace, Nicky. You’ll be missed.