‘Loved by the paddock and fellow competitors’
A true all-rounder, Hayden excelled not only in the premier class to take the 2006 world title from Valentino Rossi, but also in his early years as an AMA Pro flat Track racer and production rider both in the AMA Superbike series and was currently in WSB with the Red Bull Honda team.
Beyond his racing talents, though, Hayden was loved by the paddock and his fellow competitors. One of the few racers that no-one ever has a bad word to say about, the American was rare in having taken a championship without ever having 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 terrible crash.
That extends to his fans, too, as one of the most popular riders ever to grace the class. Humble despite his success, the Kentucky Kid was always keen to interact with his fans, both online and in person, taking the time to sign an autograph or pose for a selfie.