Tributes roll in for Nicky Hayden who passed away this week from injuries sustained in a cycling accident
“I knew Nicky even before he was my team-mate and he always gave me a lot of time even when I was in 125s and 250s. He was always happy to have a chat and as a team-mate he was fantastic. He never really stopped smiling even when things were tough for him so he’s someone we are really going to miss. Nobody has anything bad to say about him, he always put a lot into his racing and he was very close with his family, so this shows a lot of the character he was.”
Yoshishige Nomura – HRC President
“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. Nicky has been such a close friend and member of the HRC family that it’s very hard to believe he is gone.
“Together we won two AMA titles and the 2006 MotoGP crown, and until his accident he was giving 100 percent to bring success to the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team. Nicky was a great rider and champion but he was an even better person.
“We always had the utmost respect for his racing spirit and for the commitment he showed on every occasion, while his charming character made him a favorite with the entire motorcycling world and race fans everywhere. At HRC we will never forget Nicky, who was very much one of us. Everyone at HRC is deeply saddened, but we will remember the many special memories we shared together with him. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family during this difficult moment.”
Marco Chini – WorldSBK Operations Manager, Honda Motor Europe
“It seems impossible that Nicky is no longer with us. Nicky was not only an outstanding rider, but also a shining example of sporting ethos and professionalism. The “Kentucky Kid” perfectly represented the values of the sport and the American school of motorcycling. The level of affection and support that the global sports community has shown Nicky demonstrates how much his kind persona and his genuine passion for motorcycling have left a mark in the hearts of motorsport enthusiasts and insiders, and his incredible legion of fans around the world. It is such a shame we only had eighteen months working together, but we have many happy memories during this time.
“Seeing Nicky return to the top step of the podium in Sepang last year was very special and also his podium at Laguna Seca was a real proud moment as Nicky was always so passionate when racing in front of his home fans. Thank you for everything Nicky; we will always remember you fondly, and you will be sorely missed.”
Ronald Ten Kate – Team Manager, Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
“This is a huge shock to me, the whole team, the World Superbike paddock and actually the entire racing world. We only had the pleasure to work with Nicky for one-and-a-half years but we came to know him like all his previous teams spoke about him: fanatical about bikes, hard-working, charismatic but above all, he was pure and genuine.
“He was Nicky! He will be missed by all of us and I hope he will be an example for any young talent trying to reach the top as Nicky did himself. We wish the Hayden family and his fiancée Jackie all the strength they will need. Rest in peace Nicky Hayden.”
“I got to know Nicky when he arrived in the world championship in 2003 from the USA. He was an open-minded, likeable and laid-back guy, always friendly with everyone and a real fan of bikes who managed to get some great results. In the many years he was with Ducati, he established a good rapport with everyone and, even though I only raced in the same team as him in 2013, he was a great team-mate for me and I have some nice memories of him. The fact is that we all really liked Nicky and we will miss him a lot.”
“It’s very sad news. We knew that the situation was very complicated but when things happen like that, it leaves you in shock all the same. I wish to convey my deepest condolences to his family and friends. He was loved by everyone in the paddock, very cheerful, with a lot of energy and good vibrations.”
Pascal Couasnon – Director of Michelin Motorsport
“We are all shocked and saddened by the news that Nicky has died. He was a great competitor, a true champion and a very warm and friendly person. Michelin was honoured to work with him in MotoGP and his World Championship in 2006 has a special place in the company’s history. He will be a big loss to motorcycle racing, his family and friends. On behalf of everyone at Michelin, and from me personally, we send our sincere condolences.”