Friday, June 9, 2017

Nicky Hayden: 1981-2017

Why does his tragic passing make me think of Bob Wollek's somewhat similar bicycling accident, whilst pedaling back to his lodgings after practice for the 2001 12 Hours of Sebring event...

I first became aware of "the Kentucky Kid's" unfortunate death whilst watching the Monaco GP race's replay Sunday evening, (May 28) when one of the announcers noted how Lewis Hamilton was sporting the #69 on his helmet in tribute to the passing of ex-MotoGP and World Superbike's rider Nicky Hayden, for which I've subsequently learned occurred on May 22nd.

Hayden, just over two months shy of his 36th birthday died in hospital five days after having collided with an automobile while out training on his bicycle in Italy.

Fortunately, I had the good pleasure of witnessing Nicky in action twice at the top of his profession, i.e.; MotoGP, albeit frustratingly for Hayden on the recalcitrant Ducati, first at Mother Speedway in 2010 and then again at COTA, nee Circuit Of The Americas in 2014, languishing towards the rear of the field on the Open Class Asper Racing Honda.

As Nicky was one Bad Arse Kneedragger, becoming America's latest MotoGP world champion Wayback in Twenty-oh-Six when he snapped The Doctor's nee Valentino Rossi's five year reign as Numero Uno! Not to mention always being a threat at the legendous' Laguna Seca Raceway where he won two-thirds of his MotoGP victories.

Yet for Mwah, in spite of all his accomplishments On-track, when I think of Nicky, I tend to recall him sporting a leather helmet atop a vintage Scooter' when taking some ceremonial Demonstration laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in '08 to help promote the arrival of MotoGP at the Brickyard...