Sad news today from the world of professional motorcycle racing as we learned that Nicky Hayden passed away, five days after being hit by a car while cycling in Italy. He was 35 years old.
Born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, "The Kentucky Kid" first burst on to the scene in 1997 in AMA racing. Two years later he won the 1999 AMA 600 Supersport crown, earning a spot on the mighty Honda team. In 2002 he won both the Daytona 200 and AMA Superbike title, becoming the youngest champion in the history of the sport. Hayden then took his talents to MotoGP, joining the Repsol Honda factory team in 2003. Three years later in 2006 he defeated the mighty Valentino Rossi to win the MotoGP championship.
Nicky's MotoGP career spanned from 2003 - 2016, competing with both the Honda and Ducati teams. He made the move to World Superbike last year, finishing fifth overall. This season he was with the Red Bull Honda team.
Last Wednesday Hayden was hit by a car while training on a bicycle. Five days later, Hayden passed away due to severe cerebral damage and multiple traumatic injuries. Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena issued the following statement:
"The medical team has verified the death of the patient Nicholas Patrick Hayden, who has been undergoing care since last Wednesday May 17 in the intensive care unit of the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena following a very serious polytrauma which occurred the same day,"