This just in from Ducati:
Ducati Team riders express their condolences over the passing of Nicky Hayden
The riders of the Ducati Team, currently taking part in a two-day private test at the Circuit de Montmelò on the outskirts of Barcelona, have expressed their condolences over the loss of their former MotoGP fellow racer, Nicky Hayden, who yesterday afternoon succumbed to injuries he received while out training on his bicycle in Italy last Wednesday.
The 35-year-old American, who won the MotoGP world title in 2006 and who raced for the Ducati Team for five years from 2009 to 2013, was a very popular figure in the paddock and his passing has had a considerable impact on his fellow racers and former team-mates.
Andrea Dovizioso, who was team-mate to Nicky in the Italian squad in 2013, declared: “I got to know Nicky when he arrived in the world championship in 2003 from the USA. He was an open-minded, likeable and laid-back guy, always friendly with everyone and a real fan of bikes who managed to get some great results. In the many years he was with Ducati, he established a good rapport with everyone and, even though I only raced in the same team as him in 2013, he was a great team-mate for me and I have some nice memories of him. The fact is that we all really liked Nicky and we will miss him a lot.”
Jorge Lorenzo, who had numerous battles with Nicky for eight seasons in MotoGP until 2015 when the American switched to World Superbike, commented: “It’s very sad news. We knew that the situation was very complicated but when things happen like that, it leaves you in shock all the same. I wish to convey my deepest condolences to his family and friends. He was loved by everyone in the paddock, very cheerful, with a lot of energy and good vibrations.”
Casey Stoner, who formed part of the Ducati Team’s line-up with Nicky for two seasons in 2009 and 2010, added: “I knew Nicky even before he was my team-mate and he always gave me a lot of time even when I was in 125s and 250s. He was always happy to have a chat and as a team-mate he was fantastic. He never really stopped smiling even when things were tough for him so he’s someone we are really going to miss. Nobody has anything bad to say about him, he always put a lot into his racing and he was very close with his family, so this shows a lot of the character he was.”
The Ducati Team and the employees of Ducati and Ducati Corse, as well as all partners and sponsors, wish to join the riders in expressing their sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Nicky Hayden in this particularly sad moment.