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.
Official Statement: Nicky Hayden has died from his injuries
— Motofire (@wearemotofire) May 22, 2017
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.
Following Hayden’s passing, many fellow competitors shared their feelings of grief on social media:
Just heart breaking. Nicky was more than just a true hero in my eyes. I send my love from deep inside my heart. R.I.P Kentucky Kid #69
— ReddingPower (@Reddingpower) May 22, 2017
Nicest guy in the paddock! So so sad always in our hearts RIP Nicky xx pic.twitter.com/r2iqvGuDrQ
— Danny Kent (@DannyKent52) May 22, 2017
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.
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