A couple of days ago, news broke that Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team rider Nicky Hayden had been involved in a collision with a car while cycling near Rimini, Italy. He is currently in a critical condition, and remains in intensive care in an Italian hospital – and his friend Valentino Rossi has penned a letter to the ‘Kentucky Kid’ wishing him the speediest of recoveries.

Following the incident, Nicky was treated on site by medical staff and then taken by ambulance to a hospital near Rimini for immediate treatment. Once Hayden’s condition was stabilised, he was transferred to Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena and remains in the hospital’s intensive care unit.


The Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy said: “Nicky Hayden’s clinical condition remains extremely critical. The young man, who is still in the intensive care unit of Cesena’s Bufalini hospital, has suffered a serious polytrauma with subsequent serious cerebral damage. The prognosis remains reserved.”

Valentino Rossi has published a letter to Nicky on Facebook, remembering the good moments that they shared on and off track during the 13 seasons they competed together in the MotoGP – and wishing the current WSBK rider the speediest of recoveries.


Rossi wrote: “Nicky is one of the best friends I’ve ever had in the paddock. We were teammates with Honda in their debut year in 2003, in their first European experience. That season ended with the title for me and his first podium at Phillip Island. A few years later, we fought side by side for the 2006 championship until the last race and at the end, unfortunately for me, he was MotoGP world champion. After the race we shook hands and he hugged me.

“After that we were teammates again in the difficult years with Ducati, where we clenched our teeth several times, if only to try to finish in the top five. Nicky often came to the ranch, it was always great to see him to learn some secrets struggling together, as he is one of the fastest dirt track riders in the world and before going to asphalt, he won the most important American races, the Peoria TT.

“But my best memory of him is when he came to shake hands after the unfortunate race of Valencia 2015, during the return of the victory. For him it was his MotoGP farewell and I had just lost the championship. His supportive look behind the visor is one of the few positive memories I have of that day. Come on, Nicky, we’re all with you.”



Ross Mowbray

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