OBITUARY: NICHOLAS PATRICK HAYDEN | RED BULL HONDA WORLD SUPERBIKE

OBITUARY: NICHOLAS PATRICK HAYDEN | RED BULL HONDA WORLD SUPERBIKE

Please find below an obituary for Nicky Hayden issued by the Hayden family.

Nicholas Patrick Hayden

July 30, 1981 – May 22, 2017

Nicholas “Nicky” Hayden passed away on Monday, May 22, 2017, at the age of 35, following a May 17 bicycle accident in Italy.

Born into a large extended Catholic family in Owensboro, Kentucky, Nicky was the middle child of Earl and Rose Hayden, with two brothers and two sisters. The entire family loved motorcycles, and shortly after he could walk, Nicky declared that his dream was to be a world champion. Although life on a farm meant that animals—horses, pot-belly pigs, even llamas—were a part of every day, for Nicky they were just novelties, and while he was a natural athlete, childhood sports leagues were little more than a lark. Racing—for the whole family, but especially for Nicky—was everything. Apart from an annual spring-break jaunt to Panama City, Florida, family trips were to racetracks, first around the Midwest, then the Eastern U.S., and eventually the entire country.

That said, there was never any doubt about where home was. Even after he began traveling the globe to race in exotic locales, Nicky would always return to his beloved “OWB.” He received his education through local Catholic schools—Precious Blood Elementary School, Owensboro Catholic Middle School and Owensboro Catholic High School—and his first jobs comprised helping out at his uncles’ nearby farms, where he began developing the tenacious work ethic for which he would be known throughout his racing career. He remained close with his core group of childhood friends throughout his life, and he helped many young local racers to pursue their own dreams.

For Nicky, a distinguished amateur dirt track and road racing career transitioned into a successful stint in the AMA Grand National Championship and AMA Superbike series, in which he earned the 1999 AMA Supersport and 2002 AMA Superbike crowns with American Honda. He was promoted to the FIM MotoGP series with Repsol Honda, for whom he achieved his dream of earning the World Championship in 2006. Nicky also rode for Ducati and Aspar Racing in MotoGP, and last year he transitioned to the FIM Superbike World Championship with the Ten Kate squad. Along the way, his charisma earned him legions of fans the world over, while his dedication and professionalism earned the respect and admiration of his teams, teammates and competitors.

Among those who knew him best, Nicky was cherished for his generosity, kindness, and mischievous sense of humor. His famous grin was never far from his lips, and he invariably had time to engage with others, even strangers. The life of any party, Nicky loved to dance, wear funny costumes, and pull pranks, often with a microphone in hand.

Throughout it all, family was Nicky’s anchor. Many Americans who race internationally opt to relocate overseas, but Nicky always preferred to return home between events. Well into his professional career, he resided in an apartment above his parents’ garage, and even after purchasing his own home nearby, he religiously showed up for his mother’s 6 o’clock dinners when he wasn’t traveling. Several years ago, he purchased and refurbished an old building on an Owensboro lake, and what he dubbed Victory Lane Lodge became the family’s preferred location for functions of all types, from Sunday get-togethers to weddings. He loved children and was a model uncle, and friends and family say he was never happier than after meeting girlfriend Jackie, with whom he became engaged last year.

Nicky is survived by his parents Earl and Rose; his siblings Tommy, Jennifer, Roger, and Kathleen; his fiancée Jacqueline Marin; nieces Olivia, Klaudia, Vera, Kyla Jo, and Kate; nephew Colt; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. CT Sunday at Haley-McGinnis Funeral Home in Owensboro. Funeral services will be at noon Monday at St. Stephen Cathedral Church, and will be streamed live on Nicky’s Facebook fan page. Donations may be made to the Nicky Hayden Memorial Fund, which helps local children in the community Nicky loved so much.

Source: Obituary: Nicholas Patrick Hayden | Red Bull Honda World Superbike

MOTOGP NEWS – FORMER MOTOGP CHAMPION NICKY HAYDEN DIES FROM INJURIES

MOTOGP NEWS –  FORMER MOTOGP CHAMPION NICKY HAYDEN DIES FROM INJURIES

2006 MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden has tragically died from injuries sustained in a road traffic accident last Wednesday.

The 35-year-old American, who switched to the World Superbike Championship in 2015 but made two final MotoGP appearances last season, was hit by a car while training on his bicycle at around 2pm near the Misano circuit in Rimini, Italy.

Hayden was transported to a local hospital with ‘extremely critical’ head, chest and pelvic injuries, then on to the intensive care unit of Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena.

Sadly, there would be no improvement in his condition and the hospital has announced the worst possible news.

Although Hayden only won three MotoGP races, he was every inch a champion, both on and off the track.

Hayden was hard but fair in his battles with fellow riders, took pride in never giving up until the chequered flag and set new standards of professionalism when representing his team, sponsors and sport as a whole.

The #69’s exciting dirt-track style combined with a relaxed, welcoming manner, Hollywood smile and Kentuckian quips helped make him an instant hit with fans and media alike from his 2003 MotoGP debut.

If points were awarded for the number of autographs signed, or waving and pulling wheelies for the fans whether finishing a session in first or last place, Hayden would have been a world champion many times over.

His fellow competitors held him in equally high regard. A factory rider for both Honda and then Ducati, Hayden was team-mate to two of the sports all-time greats – Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner – winning their respect and friendship.

Reacting to the news of Hayden’s accident, Rossi called the #69 “one of the best friends I’ve ever had in the paddock”, despite being the rider who ended the Italian’s run of five consecutive MotoGP titles in one of the sport’s biggest upsets at Valencia 2006.

A lack of competitive machinery and a serious wrist injury dogged Hayden’s final years in MotoGP. But the Kentuckian fought back to join an elite group of riders to win both MotoGP and World Superbike races, after switching championships at the end of 2015.

Hayden was competing in his second WorldSBK season, with Ten Kate Honda, when the fateful accident occurred just days after the Imola round.

And now a bright star has gone out.

Having spent almost his entire life racing motorcycles, Hayden was fully aware of the dangers – Daijiro Kato died in Hayden’s very first MotoGP race at Suzuka in 2003, and the American was on track when Marco Simoncelli was killed at Sepang in 2011.

But to lose his life away from the race track, without even the caveat of ‘doing what he loved most and knowing the risks’, seems especially tragic.

Hayden’s death also closes a chapter in US motorcycling history. The former AMA Superbike champion had been the last American competing in MotoGP and now also World Superbike.

We join the whole motorcycling community in offering our deepest condolences to Nicky Hayden’s family – especially his father Earl, mother Rose, sisters Jennifer and Kathleen, brothers and fellow racers Tommy and Roger, and fiancé Jackie – and his many friends at such a difficult time.

Source: MotoGP News – Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden dies from injuries