Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden dies after bicycle crash

Nicky Hayden of USA and Repsol Honda Team smiles during the press conference pre-event during previews ahead of the 2016 MotoGP of Australia at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on October 20, 2016 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

CESENA, Italy— American motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden died, the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital announced on Monday, five days after he was hit by a car while training on his bicycle. Hayden was 35.

Last week, the hospital announced Hayden had severe cerebral damage and multiple traumatic injuries.

“The medical team has verified the death of the patient Nicholas Patrick Hayden, who has been undergoing care since last Wednesday May 17 in the intensive care unit of the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena following a very serious polytrauma which occurred the same day,” the hospital statement said.

Hayden, who was in Italy following a race at nearby Imola, was transported to the Bufalini facility following the incident on the Rimini coast on Wednesday.

The black Peugeot car that hit Hayden had its front windshield smashed. Judicial authorities have opened an investigation into the incident and questioned the 30-year-old driver of the Peugeot.

Hayden won the MotoGP title in 2006, finishing narrowly ahead of Italian great Valentino Rossi.

In a MotoGP career spanning 2003-16 with Honda and Ducati, Hayden posted three victories and 28 podium finishes in 218 races.

After switching to the World Superbike championship last year, Hayden finished fifth in the 2016 standings. Hayden was 13th in Superbike this season, riding for the Red Bull Honda team.

Hayden was born in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Several family members had flown in from the United States, including Hayden’s mother and brother.

Hayden raced in six of the eight Red Bull Indianapolis GP events at IMS from 2008-15. His finished on the podium in his first two starts at IMS, placing second in 2008 with Repsol Honda and third in 2009 with Ducati.

He missed the 2012 race due to a broken hand suffered in a crash during qualifying and the 2014 race due to a wrist injury.

“Everyone at IMS mourns the loss of our friend Nicky Hayden,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “When you met Nicky, you immediately felt you had known him for years. His humility and sincerity always made genuine connections with everyone, as he truly was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet in racing. Nicky was a tireless ambassador for MotoGP at the Speedway and a passionate supporter of all events at IMS.

“When MotoGP first came to IMS in 2008, we soon learned family and his beloved Owensboro meant everything to Nicky. We offer our thoughts, prayers and condolences to his parents, Rose and Earl; his fiancée, Jackie; his brothers, Tommy and Roger; his sisters, Jenny and Kathleen; and to all his friends, teammates and legions of fans around the world. He will always be remembered fondly at IMS.”

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