Former American MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden passed away five days after being involved in a crash while cycling.
35-year-old Hayden suffered cerebral damage after colliding with a car on in Italy on Wednesday, 17 May. He had been in the intensive care unit of Cesena’s Maurizio Bufalini Hospital.
“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,” the hospital said in a statement.
After he passed away, brother Tommy issued a statement where he said,”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. We are all so proud of that. We will all miss him terribly.”
“The nicest man in Grand Prix racing”
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) 22 May 2017
On its website, MotoGP paid a tribute and wrote, “MotoGP Legend, 2006 World Champion, WorldSBK race winner, fiancé, uncle, brother, son, friend or simply the ‘Kentucky Kid’ who rose from American dirt track to the absolute pinnacle of his sport, Hayden was known for many things to many people, and put his name to an astounding number of achievements both within racing and beyond its limits – key amongst which was his moniker as ‘the nicest man in Grand Prix racing’. A true competitor with an incredible commitment to his sport, and a true family man dedicated to the people around him.”
It may be recalled here that Nicky Hayden first competed in MotoGP in 2003 and finished third in the standings two years later. He ended Valentino Rossi’s five-year winning streak in 2006 following a dramatic final race in Valencia.