Nicky Hayden, Former MotoGP Champion, Has 'serious Cerebral Damage' After Crash

Nicky Hayden, the 2006 MotoGP champion, died Monday five days after a bicycle crash in Italy. He was 35.

Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy, where Hayden was hospitalized said the professional race had cerebral damage and several 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 said in a statement.

Hayden — whose full name was Nicholas Patrick Hayden — was in intensive care after being hit by a black Peugeot car while training on his bicycle on the Rimini coast May 17. Law enforcement officials in Italy launched an investigation into the accident and the 30-year-old driver of the car was interrogated.

The hospital’s last medical briefing on Hayden was May 20. At the time the hospital said the racer was in a critical condition.

On Monday, Italian media reported that investigators found a video of the accident from a camera on a house by the side of the road. The footage reportedly indicated Hayden did not stop at an intersection and was hit by the the passing car.

Hayden’s oldest brother Thomas "Tommy" Hayden — also a professional motorcycle racer — and sponsor Red Bull Honda World Superbike issued a joint statement mourning his death.

“Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that,” Tommy said. “Apart from these ‘public’ memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. We will all miss him terribly,” Tommy said.

“It is with great sadness that Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has to announce that Nicky Hayden has succumbed to injuries suffered during an incident while riding his bicycle last Wednesday,” the sponsor said.

MotoGP wrote a tribute for Hayden after his death.

“MotoGP Legend, 2006 World Champion, WorldSBK race winner, fiancé, uncle, brother, son, friend or simply the ‘Kentucky Kid’ who rose from American dirt track to the absolute pinnacle of his sport, Hayden was known for many things to many people, and put his name to an astounding number of achievements both within racing and beyond its limits – key amongst which was his moniker as ‘the nicest man in Grand Prix racing’. A true competitor with an incredible commitment to his sport, and a true family man dedicated to the people around him,” MotoGP wrote on its website.

Hayden was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, July 30, 1981. In 2006, he bagged the MotoGP title after completing narrowly ahead of Italian Valentino Rossi. His last race in the MotoGP championship was in Spain last September. At the time he was a stand-in for injured Australian Jack Miller at Marc VDS Honda, a privately-run team. Of the 216 races he started between 2003 and 2015, Hayden won three.

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