“Kentucky Kid” Nicky Hayden began his career on dirt before switching to tarmac, winning the AMA Supersport Championship onboard a privateer Honda in 1999. In 2002, he won the AMA Superbike title, the youngest rider ever to do so, and moved up to the MotoGP™ World Championship in 2003, also riding a Honda. Hayden then became the most recent MotoGP™ World Champion from the USA after beating Valentino Rossi to the title in 2006, with the fight going down to the final round in Valencia. He then moved to Ducati in 2009 to partner Casey Stoner, finding the first year a challenge, before making a vast improvement in 2010 to end the season 7th.
The Kentucky rider moved back aboard a Honda for the 2014 season, riding the Open specification RCV1000R with Drive M7 Aspar. Major injury problems with his wrist seriously affected the season, resulting in surgery to fix the problem and get back on track for 2015. Named a MotoGP™ legend the same year, the American’s 13th and final season in MotoGP™ was a challenging one ahead of his move to the WorldSBK paddock in 2016. Already a podium finisher multiple times in World Superbike and taking his first win in Sepang in his rookie season, the legendary American returned to MotoGP™ at the Aragon GP to sub for Jack Miller at Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, as the Australian recovered from a hand injury. After scoring points in Aragon, Hayden was back once again at Phillip Island - replacing injured former Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa in the same team. Hayden then tragically lost his life in a cycling accident after the 2017 Italian Round of WorldSBK, when he was training on the Rimini coast. Hayden was a true Champion, for his achievements both on track and off.