Honda Racing Remembers Nicky Hayden

Former MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden Passes Away

Motorcycle-racing champion, Nicky Hayden, passed away on May 22, 2017 of injuries received after being struck by a car. Hayden was in Italy racing for the Red Bull Honda's World Superbike team when he was involved in the accident on May 17th. Hayden was bicycling as part of his training at the time. He was being treated at the intensive-care unit of a hospital in Cesena. Hayden was only 35 years old at the time of his death. His mother Rose, brother Tommy and fiancee Jackie were at his side at the time of his passing.

The Life of Nicky Hayden

Nicky was born as Nicholas Patrick Hayden in Owensboro, Kentucky on July 30th, 1981. To the racing world, he was known as "The Kentucky Kid." He began racing bikes at a very early age, often competing against much older opponents. By the age of 17, and while still in high school, Hayden was racing Honda RC45 superbikes. He won the AMA Supersport Championship in 1999 and in 2001 began competing in his first full season as an AMA superbike racer. He finished in third place that year, only 40 points shy of a championship. The Kentucky Kid began his MotoGP career racing for Honda in 2003. This relationship continued until 2008, when Nicky switched to racing for Ducati. He returned to Honda with the Aspar Team for one year starting in 2014. In 2016, he returned to the Superbike World Championship, racing for Red Bull Honda. For more information about the life and career of Nicky Hayden, you can visit his official website at NickyHayden.com.

Championships and Awards Won

Nicky Hayden enjoyed a long and successful career before his untimely passing. Here is a list of some of his most important accomplishments.

  • 1999 AMA Ricky Graham Flat Track Rookie of the Year
  • 1999 AMA Pro Athlete of the Year
  • 1999 AMA 600 Supersport Champion
  • 2002 Daytona 200 Winner
  • 2002 AMA Superbike Champion
  • 2003 MotoGP Rookie of the Year
  • 2006 Cycle News Rider of the Year
  • 2006 MotoGP World Champion

Honda Racing Honors #69 Nicky Hayden

Tributes to Nicky Hayden have been coming from all sectors of the racing world. Nicky raced for Honda for a good portion of his career and was a member of the Honda team and family at his last event. Yoshishige Nomura, the President of HRC, released a heart-felt statement upon his passing. "On behalf of all HRC employees and our racing teams, I wish to express my deepest condolences to Nicky Hayden’s family, his fiancée and his many friends," said Mr. Nomura. Further comments from the Red Bull Honda Racing Team expressed their love and admiration for Nicky Hayden, both as a great racing champion and as a wonderful person and friend. The team stated that Hayden always gave 100% to bring success to his superbike racing team. For more information on Red Bull Honda Racing and to see all of the official statements, visit their website HERE.