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Nicky Hayden in Serious Condition Following Accident While Training on Bicycle (Update 4)

Like many professional motorcycle racers, Nicky Hayden frequently trains on a bicycle. According to reports, including this one from Italy, Hayden was riding near Misano in Italy when he collided with an automobile. The impact reportedly resulted in serious trauma to Hayden’s head and chest.  Hayden is receiving treatment in a hospital in Italy at this time.  We will update with additional details a bit later today.

UPDATE 1:

Latest word is Nicky is in intensive care. Doctor describes his condition as “very serious”.  Follow this link to an Italian site with frequent updates from the hospital.

UPDATE 2:

Italian press is now reporting that Nicky remains in intensive care in serious condition, and that there will be no additional updates on the status of his health until at least tomorrow. Additionally, it is now reported that Hayden was riding alone, rather than with a group, when he was struck by the automobile. His brother Tommy and mother Rose are reportedly en route to Italy to be with Nicky in the hospital.

UPDATE 3:

This is from an Italian report on Thursday afternoon (local time, Italy).  You can see the report here. An apparent quote from a hospital representative indicates Nicky remains “critical” and in the intensive care ward.  Further, Nicky “suffered a serious polytrauma with consequent very serious cerebral damage.  The prognosis remains guarded.” Like all of Nicky’s fans, we here at MD have him and his family in our thoughts constantly … hoping for the best outcome possible.

UPDATE 4:

A local Italian news organization is following Nicky Hayden’s condition by checking with the hospital.  A report posted earlier today indicates Nicky’s condition is still “very serious”. In addition to the injury to his head and chest reported earlier, it is stated that Nicky also suffered fractures to his femur and pelvis.

The Hayden family has indicated they want the media to respect their privacy, and exercise some discretion given the grave circumstances.  From this point forward, MD will only post reports published directly by the Hayden family or Honda.  If you wish to watch local media reports, the link posted in the paragraph above appears to be from the local news organization, so you might check there periodically.


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89 Comments

  1. VLJ says:

    I was really looking forward to seeing Elder Motostatesman Nicky. Damn.

    This reminds me of when Stevie Ray Vaughan passed. Both were thirty-five, too.

  2. Norm G. says:

    F’ me running (the irony) this is worse than losing Joey in Estonia on a 125, or Hizzy to a helicopter…

    RIP Nicky Hayden the gold standard for “gentlemen racers”, we were not worthy.

  3. One Upper says:

    R.I.P i had the pleasure to meet him in 2007 and such a loss..

  4. Alex says:

    He will be missed. Gone too young. RIP.

  5. Trent says:

    I just saw the news. RIP Nicky. You will be missed.

  6. Scott says:

    Nicky has passed.

    I hoped it was more fake news, but official outlets are reporting it now.

    Godspeed, Nicky…

  7. Neil says:

    http://adventuresinbraininjury.com/ – a good read on brain injury and the brain in general. It’s a one day at a time journey and Nicky has a lot of people pulling for him so let’s hope for the best.

    • Randy D. says:

      Yes, and every situation is different. It’s way too early to know his mental condition at this time. Been thru this (head injury) myself, unfortunately. I couldn’t ride a MC for 3 years afterword and a LOT of fed. govt. $ was spent on me to get me to this point since my injury happened @ and Air Force base years ago. Hope the best for Nicky.

  8. Highspeedhamish says:

    Please read this article from RRW wrt to fake news.

    http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/nicky-hayden-earl-hayden-decries-fake-news/

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for posting that. This is what I absolutely hate about the Social Media Age! Any schmuck with a Twitter account can be a “news source”. So much BS out there…

  9. ze says:

    Just known about this… Very sad, a really nice guy. Let’s believe everything will end well.

  10. Dave says:

    Terrible news. Nicky is well loved by everyone he has interacted with. I’ve never heard a bad word spoken about him, in any language. That said, the biggest jerk in the world doesn’t deserve what he’s going through. I wish him a full recovery to a normal life, he has already given so much to us, fans of motorcycle racing.

    A few words about cycling and safety, since that seems to be a side conversation here.
    In the US, the fatality rate in auto to cyclist accidents has hovered at about 700/yr. for the past 15 years. Infrastructure and ridership have both increased, yet this small number has stayed flat. Cycling in American roads is statistically very safe. As a cyclist, I fully understand the fears and have known people who have been hit, as well as people who have perished. So close to home, it seems like a lot.

    When a driver says, “I didn’t see him!”, it’s not a cop-out, it’s the truth. We are invisible out there, but so are motorcycles, motos just have the benefit of being able to travel at the speed of traffic.

    Want to be safer? Don’t wear dark colors. Wear bright colors and concentrate them on parts of your body that move, as well as your head. 90+% of the time, you’re against a dark backdrop. Use the brightest flasher lights you can find (Bontrager Flare R, CygoLite Hot Spot are both good, there are others). These can be seen for over a mile in direct sunlight. The farther away a driver detects you, the more time they have to figure out what to do when they arrive at your position. Use a light on the front too. If a driver is in sunlight and you’re in a shadow (under a tree, whatever), you’re completely invisible without a light. This is how cyclists have drivers turn in front of them. Lights in the daytime = the single biggest thing to improve your safety.

    The motorcycle safety foundation (I think it was them) found that the single biggest thing a rider could do to improve their visibility was to wear a white or hi-vis yellow helmet, because it’s the highest point, and humans are predators who instinctively identify heads and body movement (reason for hi-vis on moving parts of a cyclist).

    Stay safe out there guys..

    • Brian says:

      Great advice. Anyone doubting the effectiveness of a helmet color change, ride around traffic in a dark helmet one day and a white or hi-viz the next. You can immediately tell that people are aware of you and giving you more room.

      Not that that should make you complacent…

    • Tank says:

      “Loud pipes save lives”- there, I said it. In this world of cell phones, we need for people to know we are there while texting. I had a Harley with loud pipes and a scooter for a while and I always had fewer close calls on the Harley. I know a lot of you hate loud pipes, but it’s a different world now.

      • Brian says:

        There’s loud, and there’s obnoxious. Loud enough to let cars know you’re around without scaring the crap out of them? I don’t have a problem with that. Heck, even *really* loud I can handle so long as courtesy is used.

        But riding down a quiet residential street at full-throttle, accelerating to 70 in a 30, on a literally DEAFENING open-exhaust chopper or sportbike? As happens several times per weekend on my street, spring through fall?

        I’m not even gonna say what that makes me want to do…

    • CrazyJoe says:

      You see them at night black bike, black cloths head to toe and brake lights that blend perfectly with the car in front of them. It’s hard to see even the best designed rear lights on motor bikes and bicycles. Hi viz clothing and strobe lighting would be a big help, would be a big help, but no one wants to look stupid.

      I agree we don’t see them. I have 20 15 vision and half the time I can’t figure out what I’m seeing. I don’t have that problem with cars.

      • Dave says:

        Another point of clarification: hi-viz only works in daylight because it requires uv light to function. Lights don’t emit uv. Reflective is the ticket for night time.

        Flashing lights have come a long way. The lights I ride bicycles with are visible from more than a mile in direct sunlight (they have a less powerful night mode).

  11. Tim C says:

    Ugh. Warning – graphic. Multiple pictures of the accident scene, including car and bicycle.

    This looks like residential street, – not to mention report of “once he arrived at the intersection with via Tavoleto, for reasons as yet unknown, he was struck perpendicularly by a car driven by a 30 year-old from Morciano, headed toward the sea, like the rider was.”

    “Perpendicularly”??? – what the hell happened here???

    Pictures: https://tinyurl.com/lqbmkz9
    Link with above quote: https://tinyurl.com/mwnzbrq

    • Scott says:

      This is the article this morning that has me wondering:

      https://www.gpone.com/en/2017/05/19/motogp/haydens-accident-consultation-with-the-usa-on-nickys-condition.html

      There’s an aerial map showing the route of each person (don’t know who drew it). You can see Nicky was coming down a blind side street onto a main road. The car was traveling up that road. So what happened?

      Did Nicky fail to stop? Was the driver speeding? Had Nicky already turned onto the road, and was he rear-ended?

      We can’t be so quick to judge the car driver until all the facts are in. If he was just driving normally up that road and Nicky came into the intersection without stopping, there may have been nothing he could do…

      • Tim C says:

        Interesting… You’re correct that there are several possibilities given this map info….So between these two reports, it sounds like Nicky turned same direction as the car from the side road, but yeah, the specifics beyond that….

        Any way you slice it, as more comes in this looks increasingly awful…aw man….

      • Neil says:

        Terrible spot with hedges blocking the corner. As a teen I used to turn right in the direction of traffic and then cross after all the cars had passed and then just ride up to the street that would have been straight ahead. They don’t tell us if the guy was looking at his phone or the radio. Terrible narrow road but people there should be accustomed to bicycles and scooters. The driver drove the car either way. He didn’t slow down when HE saw the blind driveways, nor enough to think what if…. So he DID make that mistake.

  12. wjf says:

    Its a shame this happens, and happens alot. People driving cars generally don’t see/notice bicycles – in a similar manner as motorcycles. Another possibility is the distraction issue motorists have. I do hope Nicky well, in addition to everyone here and out there on two wheels.

  13. Pacer says:

    Lots of people have nice things to say about Nicky. This is a good thing. A better thing? I don’t know a single person who has something negative to say.

    Nicky, this sucks a d!@k. I really hope this is something you look back on and say “that sucked, I’m glad it’s over”.

  14. Dino says:

    Praying for a full recovery, Nicky.

    Never heard a bad word about him, seems like a class act.

  15. Tron says:

    Man, that sucks. I hope he’s able to make a full recovery. Get well Nicky!

  16. darmahman says:

    I hate riding a bicycle on the street. Too many drivers distracted. This is really sad news.

    • MGNorge says:

      I have friends who find riding motorcycles on the street “iffy” these days! I can’t say I’d argue that.

      • Ryan Craig says:

        I feel quite a bit safer riding my motorcycle on the road than my bicycle. I’m better dressed for a fall, I can keep up (and outpace, generally) with traffic. The biggest risks, due to excessive speed, are under my control.

  17. cinderbob says:

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, Nicky.

  18. Neil says:

    Saw Nicky race at Loudon in 2000 and 2001 and then met him a few years back at Daytona where Tommy and Roger were racing. I’ve driven a car in Ireland and Germany. Narrow roads. Hedges separating fields along the roadside in many places. We really need to eliminate human beings from driving cars as soon as we can. I know the computers make mistakes, but people are just too distracted. We could and should block all data while cars are moving. Praying for Nicky, his family, friends and team.

    • Some Assembly Required says:

      Please, Elimination of all human driven autos also means elimination of all human driven motorcycles (at least on public roads). Don’t let this tragedy be a justification for disastrous ideas.

      • Neil says:

        Good point but we at least need to make data not work while the car is moving. Even dialing the phone is not safe. It should be voice activated or nothing.

    • PatrickD says:

      You’ve driven a car in Ireland and Germany.
      tell us something relevant any time you’re ready.

      • Jon says:

        easy guys, this is tragic, lets support Nicky here, and wish him the best for a recovery.

      • Scott says:

        Given the subject of this thread, this is the only thing you could think of to say, PatrickD?

        Classy as always. Go away.

      • Neil says:

        Patrick, narrow roads are a whole different ballgame. I ride in NH and the roads are wide enough for cars to pass even with traffic in both directions. The roads Nicky was on were narrow if a driver is even slightly distracted. In Ireland it was either very nearly touch mirrors with the traffic in the other direction or drive off into a ditch, much like the side road Nicky was coming out from. The road the driver was on was quite narrow as well.

  19. Jeremy in TX says:

    Man, that is not good news.

  20. Gary says:

    This really truly sucks.

  21. Wendy says:

    Serious cerebral trauma that is the worst possible prognosis. I hope that NIcky makes a recovery where he can live a normal life. The motorbikes can rest. He needs the win in life and health.

  22. Pete says:

    Wishing a speedy recovery to Nicky and also his Honda. Looks like both require surgery but I’m sure both will be fast again soon.

  23. Scott says:

    The latest reports are starting to use the phrase “severe brain damage”.

    Man, this sucks…

  24. VLJ says:

    Between the public dedications, social-media messages, and people sporting his number somewhere on their bike or gear, count on Le Mans being a heartfelt lovefest for #69.

  25. Ricky Crue says:

    Prayers and positive vibes for Nicky and all of his family. They are a good, down to earth, group of people. Always been a fan of Nicky, and respected his work ethic. I absolutely hate that this has happened, and am hoping for a full recovery. Hang in there Kentucky Kid, we ARE ALL pulling for you brother!!!!!

  26. MTR says:

    Sorry to hear the news Nicky, and best wishes for a speedy recovery, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  27. Jodyz says:

    So sorry to hear this news. Praying for Nicky and his family. Been a fan for about 15 years and always pulled for Nicky to be out front no matter what he was riding.

  28. Jim says:

    Nick is a good kid and I wish him a speedy recovery.

  29. roadrash1 says:

    Heal Up as fast as you ride, Nicky!

  30. 5229 says:

    Thoughts and prayers for Nicky. Just a good down to earth guy.

  31. CrazyJoe says:

    Makes you wish for self driving cars.

    • superlight says:

      Oh, yeah, like they would have seen Nicky. Those cars have a long way to go.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Makes you wish for self driving cars.”

      hmmmn, in light of current events maybe “crazyjoe” ain’t that crazy…?

      (while no final decision has been made, Norm is now forced to begin a rethink of his prior stance on autonomous vehicles)

    • todd says:

      Everyone should just stay home and do nothing. That way we’d all be safe.

  32. VLJ says:

    Judging by the early reports, the severity of his injuries are such that I couldn’t care less whether he ever returns to racing, I just hope he survives and can live a normal life.

    Like everyone else here and elsewhere who has ever had any personal interaction with Nicky, I will add my two cents and say that he was always the classiest, most polite, humble, and down-to-earth “star” racer one could ever hope to meet. Whether it was dinner with his family at Laguna Seca during his AMA and GP days, or any of those stultifyingly dreary meet-and-greets at our Honda tent during the annual dealer shows, Nicky was always the best of the best.

    In the end, racing is fleeting. It really doesn’t matter. People matter, and Nicky is one of the most genuinely considerate, kind-hearted people in the business. His parents did a great job raising him. Earl and Rose deserve better than to have to bury any of their children.

    Get well, Nicky.

  33. Fred says:

    So sorry for Nicky & his Family.
    If ever he needed The Clinica Mobile & Dr Costa, it was that day.
    The Italian photo of the frontal damage to the car’s Windscreen and roof really does express the very serious head & chest injuries received. Those light cycle helmets don’t protect for that sort of impact.
    I fear that at his age and time for rehab, his racing career has moved on and I hope we don’t have another Rainey wheel chair outcome – I truly hope not, and wish for a 100% return to full health.

  34. Jeff says:

    The sport is richer for Nicky’s presence in it. I always admired his humbleness, accountability and work ethic. He set the example and was great ambassador for both the sport and his country. That’s what made me a fan regardless of where landed on the grid or the finish line.

  35. Doc says:

    I’m saddened to hear this. Praying for a complete recovery.

  36. Philip says:

    By far my favorite athlete of the last 20 years. At this point i just want him to recover.

  37. jcr says:

    I remember the day the Haydens including nicky show up to a flat track race in superior wisco THE MAIN EVENT COME`S AT NIGHT AND EVERYONES RACING NOW INTO THE MAIN AND THE FREAKIN LIGHT`S GO OUT AT THE TRACK ITS PITCH BLACK OUT, AND THE MOTORS JUST GO SILENT TO IDEL WITH NO CRASHES IM LIKE AMAZING EVERYONE MADE IT AROUND A CORNER AND NOT CRASHES THE AMA FLAT TRACK NEVER CAME BACK AGAIN THIS WAS THE SAME YR NICKY WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE RC51 AMA SUPERBIKE

  38. Jason says:

    I have done a fair bit of riding around Italy. Many long 100 mile rides on winding mountain roads, and lots of miles along the very touristy Amalfi coast (also narrow, winding, and frequent tunnels). My overall impression is that I’d rather ride there than on a nice wide US road where people are mostly driving the speed limit (over in Italy speed limit seems to be less than a suggestion). Most drivers over there respect cyclists, and very few are as distracted as they are here. That said, you’re very exposed, and frequently taking risks in order to mitigate others (like splitting traffic). I hope Nicky recovers well and rides again!

  39. MGNorge says:

    God’s speed Nicky!

  40. Luis Gallur says:

    A true giant and gentleman of the sport . All the best for a functional recovery . Let us pray for him to whatever god you worship.

  41. dave911 says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Missing you on the MotoGP grid…

  42. Provologna says:

    Wishing our beloved racer a full and speedy recovery. Heartbroken to hear of this accident.

    I read that Ben Spies never rode motorcycles on the street, because it’s too dangerous. I ride a mountain bike (new carbon wheel set ETA two weeks), but spend a lot of time on pavement. I recently decided on a helmet mounted GoPro for evidence in case of an accident. You just know the cage driver’s first words are, “I didn’t see him!

    If you want irony, try this: yesterday I read that hackers now hold for huge bitcoin ransom Disney’s fifth movie in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise. Hackers steal a Pirate movie and hold it for ransom?

    • Tim C says:

      STAY ON TARGET

    • Earl Shives says:

      Hey Provologna, you might want to reconsider that helmet mount. You should read up on the cause of Michael Schumacher’s equipment failure. Helmets are not intended to have anything mounted to them and in the case of an impact, the mount can penetrate the helmet causing catastrophic failure.

      Check out the bike mounts for under the seat or handlebar. Ride safe.

  43. Jeremy in TX says:

    Wow, what a tough break! I hope he can recover completely from this.

  44. Grover says:

    May you heal quickly. God Bless You, Nicky.

  45. blitz11 says:

    I have bicycle commuted and “raced” (not very well) road bicycles for 30 years, and it way more scary than riding street bikes. You are incredibly exposed, and at the mercy of those behind 4,000 pound land missiles. I do it to be fit, free, and (especially in snow), improve bicycle/motorcycle handling skills. This incident just highlights that exposure.

    Nicky – heal up soon! Absolute CLASS guy, true champion, and I hope that he is with us for decades to come in good health and mind.

    • Slapshot 98 says:

      blitz11
      You said it all. Here in Kalamazoo,MI we lost 5 bicycle riders to a traffic incident last July, bad stuff. Thoughts and prayers for Nick and his family.
      Class guy indeed, wishing him speedy recovery!

    • Scott says:

      Driving around town today, I couldn’t help getting a little pit in my stomach every time I saw a bicycle on the road. Especially when I saw one of those low-riding three-wheelers, and in the lane right next to him was a woman in an SUV yapping on her cell phone. I thought to myself, he would never even have a chance… 🙁

    • Tim C says:

      I stick to the trails on my (dual-purpose) bicycle. Short stretches on the road scare the crap out of me.

  46. ApriliaRST says:

    Here’s hoping for a speedy and full recovery, Nicky!

  47. brinskee says:

    Good luck Nick, hoping you heal up fast and get back on two wheels where you belong soon. You’re a great ambassador to the sport and we all like having you around, so rest, recoup, and recover.

  48. MotoMaster39 says:

    I hope he heals up fast and doesn’t have any nagging injuries as a result of this. I loved watching him ride the wheels off of the RC51 back in the day when AMA roadracing was still a big deal. Watching him drag-knee on a supermoto was mindblowing as well.

    Get well soon!

  49. Scott says:

    Regardless of your thoughts of Nicky as a motorcycle racer, there’s no doubt he is a quality human being. He does not deserve this. Please recover, Nick…

  50. Kent Taylor says:

    A great guy, from a great family. Loves to ride motorcycles and almost always looked he was having a fun time! Go Nicky!

  51. Gary says:

    Cyclists are uniquely exposed to trauma–especially by knuckle-draggers who don’t think they have a right to a share of the road. Not much protective gear to speak of, or you’d quickly die of heat. Here’s hoping he has a full and speedy recovery.

  52. SF848 says:

    Such a nice guy. I really hope he recovers quick and back on the Honda in no time. Prayers and healing vibes go out to him and his family.

  53. Matt Krackow says:

    Absolutely heartbroken to hear this news!! Nicky will most certainly be in our thoughts and prayers. Like many of his fans, I had the good fortune of meeting him at the New York Motorcycle Show and was blown away by what a kind, generous person he is. I hope that he comes out of this okay…

  54. mickey says:

    What a shame. Great guy. All those miles at 100-200 mph on a racing motorcycle and gets critically injured riding a bicycle probably doing 20 mph.

    Heal fast Nicky!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “What a shame. Great guy. All those miles at 100-200 mph on a racing motorcycle and gets critically injured riding a bicycle probably doing 20 mph.”

      i know right, it’s like an episode of Twilight Zone. one almost can’t get their head around the irony of these incidents.

      • Tim C says:

        Bob Wollek.

        • Norm G. says:

          Michael Schumacher.

          • Tim C says:

            Yep, while going a bit OT from bicycle/car stuff, the MS situation is freaky beyond belief/of all things category for sure.

            Edit – uh oh, and speaking of MS the linked report in the update mentions “cranial polytrauma” and that apparently they can’t operate because of this.