Nicholas "Nicky" Patrick Hayden, Honda World Superbike racer and 2006 MotoGP World Champion, died Monday from injuries sustained when hit by a auto while riding a bicycle on 17 May.
The 35-year-old from Owensboro, Kentucky, suffered head and chest injuries and was later transferred to the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena where he has since remained in the intensive care unit. We are all so proud of that.
The hospital on Monday afternoon announced his death, with doctors saying that Hayden had suffered "a serious polytrauma" following the accident.
Nicky Hayden will be missed not only by his loved ones, but by the sport he was passionate about and the racers who admired him.
The Kentucky-born Hayden was in Italy following a race at Imola.
Hayden took his first WSBK victory in Malaysia a year ago, finishing fifth in the final standings, and was 10 races into the 2017 campaign prior to the cycling accident.
For 2016, Nicky joined the World Superbike Championship with Ten Kate Honda (now Red Bull Honda World Superbike), becoming the sole American in the series.
"Nothing says more about Nicky's character than the overwhelming response expressed by fellow racers and his legions of fans over the past few days".
They said the images suggested Hayden had failed to stop at an intersection and was hit full on by the passing vehicle.
Hayden raced in six of the eight Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 2008-15, competing for Repsol Honda, Ducati and the Aspar Racing Team.
He began MotoGP racing in 2003 and was crowned the MotoGP World Champion three years later.
The driver of the vehicle that struck Hayden was given a breathalyser test and was not found to have been over the limit at the time of the accident.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Nicky Hayden", said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.