As reported in a recent post from the venerable moto news resource Cycle News, our friend and hero Nicky Hayden was recently inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. In addition to his talents as National & World Champion throttle twister, the “Kentucky Kid” was also an avid cyclist. We last saw Nicky a few years ago at the Shimano sponsored group ride that preceded the AMA Supercross opener at Anaheim’s Angel Stadium.
Tragically, the former factory Honda and Ducati rider was killed in Italy while out training on his bicycle in 2017.
“The late Nicky Hayden will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The 2002 AMA Superbike Champion and 2006 MotoGP World Champion, affectionately known as the Kentucky Kid, won hearts across the globe for his tenacious riding style and easy-going demeanor and will join fellow Inductees Davey Allison (Stock Cars), John Cobb (Historic), Larry Dixon Jr. (Drag Racing), Janet Guthrie (Open Wheel), Robin Miller (Media), Fran Muncey (Powerboats), Ray Nichels (Historic), and Judy Stropus (Sports Cars) on the 2021 honor roll.
“Nicky Hayden’s name will join fellow motorsports legends such as Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, and Jeremy McGrath on the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America honor roll.
“The “Kentucky Kid” is best known for winning the 2006 MotoGP World Championship, breaking Valentino Rossi’s streak of five straight titles,” said the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America via a press release. “Hayden emerged in 1997, winning the inaugural AMA Horizon Award in recognition of his flat-track prowess. In 1999 he was named AMA Athlete of the Year after capturing the AMA Supersport title and his first Grand National win. Three years later he became the youngest ever winner of the AMA Superbike Championship, including the 2002 Daytona 200. He was killed bicycling in 2017. That year, the AMA renamed the Horizon Award in his honor.”
“Hayden’s recognition by his peers is a fitting tribute to the man who touched so many across the globe, and we join the American motorcycle industry as a whole in congratulating the Kentucky Kid.”