Former American professional motorcycle racer, Nicky Hayden was a true race legend and although he cheated death many times in the line of ‘duty’, fate still had it that he met his demise on the road while riding his bike.
Nicky made his MotoGP debut in 2003 and had a lot of big wins in his career which include landing the MotoGP World Championship title in 2008 and then being named the FIM Legend ahead of the Valencian Grand tournament, in 2015. In the two years, prior to his death, he won his first World Superbike Race and the AMA Horizon Award was re-named in his honor.
Nicky Hayden’s Bio
Nicky Hayden, born March 30, 1981, with the full name Nicholas Patrick Hayden and famously called the ‘Kentucky Kid’ was a passionate racer who got his inspiration to join racing at quite a young age from his elder brothers who were also professional racers and he is said to have followed his brothers to tour around the city of Kentucky with his 5cc Dirt-track bike.
At the age of8, Nicky started to compete in the national amateur AMA dirt-track scene and by the time he turned 17, he had specialized in dirt-track. He was also very good at the tarmac. He contested for the first time as a professional motorcycle racer in the AMA Supersport series with a Suzuki motorcycle. Things began to take shape for him as he won the Grand National Dirt Track award and also landed the Rookie of the Year title in 1999. After two years, Nicky won the Daytona 200 Honda superbike race which made him the youngest AMA Superbike champion ever.
Nicky Hayden’s later career after his grand entrance in his first year of trying was not as rosy as he had imagined but his struggles to stay at the top of his game paid off when he bounced back in 2005 and entered his first win against Laguna Seca. The next year, Nicky achieved his long-awaited dreams and won the MotoGP World Championship against his biggest rival, Valentino Rossi.
In 2007, he ranked 8th in the MotoGP World Championship, he also had a change in his racing number from 69 to number 1. He moved up two places in the rankings to 6th place by 2008 and more so, his 10 years successful career with the Repsol Honda ended on September 15th of that same year.
He joined the Ducati Marlboro Team to have a new experience in 2009. His first year in the team was not really successful as he was ranked 13th in MotoGP World Championship. After his first year at the new team, he struggled between 7th and 9th in his five years career with the Ducati Marlboro Team that ended in 2013.
Nicky Hayden returned to the Honda in 2014, however, he was ranked 16th in the MotoGP World Championship due to a wrist injury that made him not perform well. He made a comeback to the Superbike World Championship in the following year and was ranked 20th in the standings. He was then landed the title of the FIM Legend ahead of the Valencian Grand tournament in November 2015 and the next year he emerged as the winner of the World Superbike Race.
After his shocking death in 2017, the AMA Horizon Award was re-named in honor of him and it said to have been ranked 13th on the MotoGP world championship.
How Much Was The Racer’s Net Worth?
Haden amassed a good amount of money from his career and he is said to have been one of the richest motorcycle racers. Nicky’s net worth was estimated at between $18 million to $20 million as of the time of his death in 2017.
Nicky Hayden’s Death: What Really Happened?
The life of Nicky Hayden was cut short on May 17, 2017, in Cesena, Italy when he was hit by a car while he was riding his bike. The incident is said to have happened at the intersection of Via Ca’ Raffaelli and Via Tavoleto in Misano Adriatico. He collided with a Peugeot 206 CC when he was entering the Via Tavoleto from Via Ca’ Raffaelli.
A surveillance camera around the accident scene reaveled that Nicky Hayden didn’t heed the stop signal and so the driver of the vehicle could not avoid him. After the crash, Nicky was rushed immediately to the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena. He sustained an intense injury known as polytrauma including a traumatic brain injury that resulted in severe cerebral damage.
He also suffered a broken femur, broken pelvis, and multiple fractures and on May 22, five days after the crash, Nicky was confirmed dead.
Upon his death, the result of the crash investigation was released in September 2017 which stated that the car was traveling at approximately 73 kilometers per hour in a 50 kilometers per hour zone and Hayden had been riding at approximately 20 kilometers per hour which led to the conclusion.
Family – Parents, Brothers
Nicky Hayden comes from a Catholic family who are also passionate about racing as his parents Earl and Rose Hayden both competed in the local championship at a young age. His two other brothers popularly known as Tommy Gun and Roger Lee are both professional motorcycle racers. In addition to his brothers, Nicky also had two lovely sisters named Jenny and Kathleen.
Was He Married? Wife, Girlfriend
Having talked about his family, let’s digress to his love life which shows that Nicky had a romantic relationship with Jackie Marin, a film actress known for the movie Skyline and the sitcom Tequila Sisters. The two lovebirds got engaged in May 2016 and Nicky Hayden is said to have had asked Jackie for her hand in marriage in Venice but as fate would have it, he died before they could make it to the altar.
Body Stats: Height and Weight
Nicky Hayden was a hunk complimented with the height of 5 feet 9 inches or 179 cm and his weight is 72 kg or 159 lbs. His other body measurement is his chest, waist, and biceps which are 41-32-13 inches respectively.