Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden dies aged 35 following cycling collision

A statement released Friday by the hospital confirmed he had sustained multiple injuries, including "serious cerebral damage".

Hayden was in Italy following a race at nearby Imola and he was transported to the Bufalini facility following the accident on the Rimini coast.

Italian judicial authorities have opened an investigation into the incident and questioned the driver.

Hayden was the man responsible for ending Valentino Rossi's five-year dominance of MotoGP in 2006 in what was described as "the most entertaining season ever seen". A number of former and current professional supercross and motocross riders took to social media today to pass along their condolences to the Hayden family.

In a MotoGP career spanning 13 years with Honda and Ducati, Hayden posted 131 victories and 28 podium finishes in 218 races.

BSB Race Director Stuart Higgs said there would be tributes at Donington Park this weekend, where the World Superbikes race will be taking place.

Hayden rekindled his partnership with Honda in 2014, racing with the satellite Aspar team for two seasons before then enjoying two one-off run-outs in 2016, a year in which he was focused on commitments in the World Superbike Championship.

Fellow motorcycle racers reacted to Hayden's death on Twitter. "We will never forget you!" wrote three-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez. In 2003, after dominating the American motorcycle racing scene, Honda tapped the rising star to join the elite Repsol Honda team in MotoGP. Pedrosa wrote: "Always in my heart, champ".

Hayden was in a road collision in Italy on Wednesday.

  • Julie Sanders