Family express gratitude for support following Hayden's death

The 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden was unable to recover from injuries sustained when he was hit by a car last week.

Former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden   -  Getty Images

Nicky Hayden's brother has thanked staff at Maurizio Bufalini Hospital and expressed the family's gratitude for the support they have received after the former MotoGP world champion died on Monday.

Hayden passed away at the age of 35 after failing to recover from injuries sustained when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle along the Rimini coast last Wednesday.

Messages of support flooded in for the 2006 MotoGP world champion following the accident last week and tributes continue to pour in since his tragic death was announced.

Red Bull Honda rider Hayden had raced in the Italian round of the Superbike World Championship at Imola the weekend before his accident.

His brother, Tommy Hayden, said in a statement: "On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky's fiancee Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support – it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people's lives in such a positive way.

"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.

"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.

"It is also important for us to thank all the hospital staff for their incredible support – they have been very kind. With the further support of the authorities in the coming days we hope to have Nicky home soon."

Red Bull Honda stated: "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.

"Nicky passed away at 19:09 CEST this evening at Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. His fiancee Jackie, mother Rose and brother Tommy were at his side.

"Throughout his career Nicky's professionalism and fighting spirit was greatly valued and carried him to numerous successes, including his childhood dream of being crowned MotoGP world champion with Honda in 2006. As well as being a true champion on the track, Nicky was a fan favourite off it due to his kind nature, relaxed demeanour, and the huge smile he invariably carried everywhere.

"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. Jackie and his family are truly grateful for the countless prayers and well wishes for Nicky.

"The 'Kentucky Kid' will be sorely missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting him or the privilege to see him race a motorcycle around a track, be it dirt or asphalt.

"The racing world says goodbye to one of its dearest sons. Rest in peace Nicholas 'Nicky' Patrick Hayden."

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