MotoGP Legend Nicky Hayden Dies After Collision In Italy
The Kentucky Kid (1981 – 2017)
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden. The 35 year old succumbed to injuries sustained after his bicycle collided with a car whilst training in Italy last Wednesday.
Despite the best efforts of the medical staff and the huge volume of thoughts and prayers from the international motorcycling community, the “Kentucky Kid” Nicky Hayden is no longer with us. His death has come as a great shock to us all, however, rather than dwell on the loss, we’d rather talk about his great life, his fantastic career, and the action packed achievements he managed to pack into his 35 years.
Nicky Hayden: A Life On Two Wheels
Born and raised into a racing family, Nicky was a natural motorcycle racer, and thanks to the efforts of this family, he was able to progress from the dirt track in his back yard, to winning the AMA Supersport championship in 1999. After success upon success in the AMA Superstock, Supersport and Superbike fields, he eventually found his way into the premier class of motorcycle racing, earning a spot on the MotoGP grid with Repsol Honda in 2003.
Three years later, Hayden would be crowned the world champion after a grueling season long battle with Valentino Rossi. Over the next ten years, Hayden remained with Honda either with factory or satellite teams, save for an exciting four year stint with Ducati. By 2016, however, Hayden decided to switch from MotoGP to the World Superbike Championship, and waltzed through his first season to end up in an impressive fifth place. Sadly, his 2017 season was cut short, and we’ll never know how the Kentucky Kid would have placed.
Racing isn’t about points and winning though, and there are many important traits and character strengths that are often overlooked when it comes to these saddening obituary style write ups. Although a fantastic racer, Nicky Hayden was also a gentleman, a good sport, a friendly and likeable guy, and a man who gave his all. He was renowned for his humble nature, his calm demeanor, his incredible relationship with his fellow racers and fans, and for his unwavering determination on and off track.
At a time where sports headlines are dominated by sensationalist characters and over blown egos, it’s nice to remember a sportsman like Nicky Hayden: a courteous racer, and a quiet champion. One of the best, in fact. And one that will be sorely missed.
Nicky Hayden 1981 – 2017