Nicky Hayden, ex-MotoGP champion, dead at 35

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Rome: American former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden has died of severe brain damage five days after he was hit by a vehicle while cycling in eastern Italy, Italian media reported on Monday.

Former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden remains in a "very critical" condition in a hospital in Italy after being seriously injured in a cycling accident on Wednesday.

A black Peugeot hit Hayden as he rode along the coast in Rimini. The bicycle of American motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden lies next to the road, bottom right, after been hitting by a vehicle while training Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Law enforcement officials in Italy launched an investigation into the accident and the 30-year-old driver of the vehicle was interrogated.

Hayden entered MotoGPin 2003 and won the world championship in 2006, with a narrow win over Valentino Rossi, who had won the title five times in a row.

During his MotoGP career, Hayden won three races and racked up 28 podium finishes. Raised in a racing family in Kentucky, Nicky, along with his brothers Tommy and Roger, all rose through the ranks to become professional road racers.

Several family members flew in from the USA to be by his hospital bedside, including his mother and brother.

"It is with great sadness that Red Bull Honda. has to announce that Nicky Hayden has succumbed to injuries suffered during an incident while riding his bicycle last Wednesday", the team said.

Born in Owensboro, Kentucky on July 30, 1981, Nicky Hayden started racing motorcycles at a young age and by 17, he was racing factory RC45 superbikes.

The star was widely known as a World Superbike Championship rider and a 2006 MotoGP world champion.

Hayden had raced in the Italian round of the Superbike World Championship at Imola the weekend before his accident.

Motorcycle champion Nicky Hayden on May 12 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. We are all so proud of that. He was a gifted racer, who left us far too soon.

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