Former MotoGP champ Nicky Hayden dies after collision with car

On Monday, per the BBC, it was announced that Nicky Hayden — the 2006 MotoGP World Champion — passed away as a result of injuries sustained when a car struck him last Wednesday while he was training on a bicycle in Italy.

As GrindTV reported last week, the 35-year-old Kentucky native was placed into a medically-induced coma at the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy after suffering serious brain trauma in the accident. Today, according to Motofire, the hospital released a short statement announcing Hayden’s passing:

The medical college has confirmed the death of the patient Nicholas Patrick Hayden, recovering from Wednesday May 17 in a hospital intensive care unit of Cesena Bufalini as a result of serious multiple injuries occurred on that date.

According to the BBC, Hayden first began competing in MotoGP back in 2003 and almost immediately became a title threat. In 2006, he ended Valentino Rossi’s five-year streak of MotoGP World Championships. He is the last American to be crowned MotoGP World Champion.

nicky hayden crash nicky hayden death
Hayden (above) was known as the “Kentucky Kid” to fans, and exhibited a warm disposition. Photo: Courtesy of Markus Berger/Red Bull Content Pool

Following Hayden’s passing, many fellow competitors shared their feelings of grief on social media:

Can't believe… The most easy and good guy i ever meet on a paddock in my life! Love u Nicky! RIP #69

A post shared by Aleix Espargaro (@aleixespargaro) on

One recurring theme in all of the tributes to Hayden shared online is how he exhibited a kind demeanor to everyone he met.

“I never heard anyone have a bad word to say about him which in racing is unusual, most riders at one time or another cross swords with other riders,” former MotoGP commentator Steve Parrish told the BBC about Hayden.

Read more about motorcycle racing

4-year-old handles a motorcycle better than most adults

Why you should learn flat-track moto racing this year