Hayden was involved in a collision with a car whilst out training on his bicycle and was taken directly to a local hospital by ambulance. Following immediate treatment, the American was then taken to Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena for further treatment and possible surgery, where he spent the night with fiancée and team members beside him.
Every effort was made to provide Hayden with the best possible care, but on Monday, May 22 it was announced he had succumbed to his injuries.
“The Kentucky Kid” first served notice on the US national racing scene in 1999. That year, he earned a win and Rookie of the Year award in AMA Flat Track while also winning the AMA Supersport championship as a privateer. Subsequently, he was named the AMA's Athlete of the Year.
In 2002 Hayden won the Daytona 200 en route to the AMA Superbike championship. In 2003, Honda tapped the rising star to join the elite Repsol Honda team in MotoGP. At 22 years old, the Kentucky Kid was introduced to the world, and his warm personality, smooth style and Southern charm quickly resonated with fans across the globe.
Four short years later, Nicky's dreams were realized when the American prodigy captured the Grand Prix World Championship in dramatic fashion, cementing his legacy as the best American motorcycle racer of his generation.
Making the move over to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in 2016, Nicky stood on the podium four times for Honda, one of which was his debut victory at Sepang International Circuit.
Hayden was a prominent fixture in Inside Motorcycles in the 2000s during an era when the magazine’s international competition coverage was significant. All of us here send our condolences to the family and the racing community, and remember the accomplishments of Nicky Hayden.
“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 in such a positive way.
“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.”