Former Motogp champ loses life in cycle accident
Nicky Hayden passed away on Monday night just as MCN went to press, succumbing to injuries sustained in a collision with a car while cycling in Italy last week. Having stayed in Europe following the fifth round of the WSB World Championship in Imola, Hayden – a keen cyclist – was on a training ride in Rimini, just metres from the Misano World Circuit, when he was in collision with a Peugeot 206 at around 2pm European time, on Wednesday, May 17.
The 2006 Motogp world champion was tended to by medics at the scene before being taken to a local hospital. Once his condition had been stabilised, he was transferred to the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, where he remained on a life support machine in intensive care until Monday evening.
Throughout his time in intensive care, information about his condition was carefully guarded, with a statement from the Red Bull Honda World Superbike team on Thursday confirming only that Hayden had sustained multiple traumatic injuries. Further statements released by the team and Dorna, organisers of both the Motogp and WSB, only affirmed Hayden’s condition as ‘extremely critical’.
Fiancée Jackie, close friend Nick Sannen, and members of the Red Bull Honda team rushed to his bedside, and were later joined by his mother, Rose and brother, Tommy, who flew in on Thursday from the USA. Hayden’s father, Earl remained in Owensboro after recent health issues of his own, along with Nicky’s other brother Roger and sisters Kathleen and Jenny.
Worst possible news
As MCN went to press on Monday night, the news came through that Hayden had lost his fight for life.
An official statement from his Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team broke the news: “Nicky passed away at 19:09 CEST this evening at Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. His fiancée Jackie, mother Rose and brother Tommy were at his side.
“Throughout his career Nicky’s professionalism and fighting spirit was greatly valued and carried him to numerous successes, including his childhood dream of being crowned Motogp World Champion with Honda in 2006. As well as being a true champion on the track, Nicky was a fan favourite off it due to his kind nature, relaxed demeanour, and the huge smile he invariably carried everywhere.
“The ‘Kentucky Kid’ will be sorely missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting him or the privilege to see him race a motorcycle around a track.”
Nicky’s brother, Tommy Hayden, added: “On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky’s fiancée Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support – it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people’s lives.
“Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that.
“Apart from these ‘public’ memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. We will all miss him terribly.
“It is also important for us to thank all the hospital staff for their incredible support – they have been very kind. With the further support of the authorities in the coming days we hope to have Nicky home soon.”
Everyone at MCN sends their deepest sympathies to Nicky Hayden’s fiancée, family and friends. A full tribute will appear in next week’s issue as we celebrate Nicky’s life and career.
‘We would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest’ TOMMY HAYDEN
Sickening damage to the Peugeot shows the force of the collision
The junction where the accident happened, close to Misano circuit
Brothers – Nicky, Tommy and Roger Lee