The former MotoGP rider has passed away after succumbing to the injuries he sustained when a car slammed into his bicycle out on the roadside.
Despite the hopes that he would pull through, Nicky Hayden has passed. The 35-year-old was kept in the intensive care unit at the Maurizio Bufalini hospital in Cesena with hopes that he would make any sort of recovery following the traumatic incident. Despite the care of professional medical staff throughout his stay, Hayden passed on Monday – surrounded by his fiancee, family, and loved ones.
Nicky’s injuries were never revealed in great detail, but doctors did disclose that the American had sustained severe brain damage during the incident. Nicky’s brother Tommy took a moment to issue a statement regarding Nicky’s passing:
“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.” – Tommy Hayden
Although Nicky had only just begun his stint in World Superbike, the Kentucky rider leaves behind a storied legacy within the world of MotoGP. Beating Valentino Rossi in the 2006 MotoGP world championship, there was no question to Nicky’s prowess atop a motorbike. Whilst his death is sudden and unexpected, it falls on motorsport fans to carry on Hayden’s legacy and bear his remembrance as one of the greatest riders to have graced the track in the last decade.
While some may feel a pang of irony regarding the nature of Hayden’s incident given that the rider had faced the threat of death every time he stepped out onto the grid only to surmount it time and time again, his brother’s words do echo a wonderful sentiment: to remember Nicky doing what the loved most – riding a motorcycle. And who knows, maybe somewhere right now, Nicky’s still riding.