Nicky Hayden tragedy in Italy draws tributes

FIM World Superbike Championship Assen - Race 1

MotoGP witnessed one of its darkest days yesterday when it lost one of its most talented and ‘nicest’ racers; 35-year-old Nicky Hayden, who passed away after his bicycle was struck by a car in Rome.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Motorsport world, both two-wheel and four, took a moment to bid a fond farewell to ‘The Kentucky Kid,’ using social media to express their condolences as tributes poured in from all corners of the world.

Lewis Hamilton was among those that reached out with a heartfelt post, saying: "Dear Nicky, you will be missed. May God hold you high, you are forever in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers to you and your loved ones."

Honda Racing tweeted this message for their star racer: "We are devastated by the loss of racer and friend Nicky Hayden.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones #69 #HondaFamily."

Felipe Massa pitched in with a simple: "R.I.P NickyHayden. My thoughts are with his family,” while fellow MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro reminded us of Hayden’s qualities, writing: "Can't believe... The most easy and good guy I ever meet on a paddock in my life! Love u Nicky! RIP 69.”

Superbike racer Alex Lowes echoed Espargaro’s sentiments, saying: "Honoured to have raced together! So much talent on a bike the nicest guy off! Will be hugely missed by everyone! RIP #69."

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team also weighed in with a message saying: "Once a champion, always a champion."

WorldSBK Testing - Phillip Island

Such was Hayden’s heartwarming personality, he even drew condolences from the non-motorsport world, with Italian Serie A Football Club A.C. Milan sending “heartfelt condolences” in, while cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy voiced his devastation, claiming the accident was “just awful.”

The incident occurred last Wednesday, and a statement from the hospital declaring the official passing of one of MotoGP’s beloved sons said: "The medical college has confirmed the death of the patient Nicholas Patrick Hayden, recovering from Wednesday, May 17 in a hospital intensive care unit of Cesena Bufalini as a result of serious multiple injuries occurred on that date."

Hayden suffered severe head and chest injuries after the collision and was in critical condition when he was brought to the hospital. He was placed in a medically-induced coma after sustaining “serious cerebral damage” before eventually succumbing to the ultimate farewell.

MotoGP will forever remember the charming and gifted racer. May Hayden’s soul rest in eternal peace.

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