Rome - American
World Superbike rider Nicky Hayden, hit by a car in a bicycle accident
in Italy last week, has died from his injuries, the Italian hospital where
he was treated said on Monday.
Hayden, 35, who won the 2006 MotoGP world title, suffered severe
chest and head injuries in the accident, which happened while he was
training on his bicycle in central Italy, south of the seaside resort of
Photographs published by local media outlets after Wednesday's crash
showed substantial damage to the front windscreen of the car and the
Hayden, nicknamed "The Kentucky Kid", raced for Honda in MotoGP from
2003 to 2015, before moving to the Superbike World Championship for
the 2016 season.
Hayden won just three grands prix in MotoGP - all in 2005-06 - but
he famously took the world title that season after fighting
tooth-and-nail with Valentino Rossi's Yamaha.
His death comes exactly a month after veteran Italian professional
cyclist Michele Scarponi was killed after being hit by a van while out
on a training ride on roads near his home.
Honda team-mate Stefan Bradl said he was "deeply touched and saddened".
"It was an honor to share the garage with you. My thoughts are with his family. We will never forget you #69 RIP."
Dani Pedrosa, Hayden's team-mate in 2006 when he won the world title,
posted a photo on Twitter of the American along with the words"Always
in my heart, champ. RIP Nicky. #69."
Honda added: "Nicky passed away at 19:09 CEST this evening at
Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. His fiancee 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
"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.
"Nothing says more about Nicky’s character than the overwhelming
response expressed by fellow racers and his legions of fans over the
past few days. Jackie and his family are truly grateful for the
countless prayers and well wishes for Nicky."
Hayden's brother Tommy added: "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."