Former MotoGP champion and current World Superbike racer Nicky Hayden is one of the most popular professional motorcycle racers, both with fans and other riders, so well wishes and words of support and concern flooded in by social media today after Hayden was seriously injured while training on a bicycle ride in Italy.
Italian media reported that Hayden was part of a group of cyclists in the Rimini area when a car collided with him head-on. Local news video showed the smashed windshield and dented roof from the impact.
According to local news reports, Hayden was first transported to a local hospital and then moved to a trauma center in a hospital in the city of Cesena. Hayden had remained in Italy after competing in this past weekend's World Superbike round at Imola. This video shows the scene of the crash.
News reports said that Hayden suffered both head and chest injuries and a report from World Superbike said he would likely undergo surgery once he was stablized at the trauma center.
For many professional motorcycle racers, bicycling is a key part of their intense training regimen. And as anyone who cycles on the road knows, bicycling lots of hours and miles among car traffic can make motorcycle racing seem a lot less dangerous by comparison.
This photo was posted on Hayden's Instagram account before the crash occurred.
Well wishes flooded in on social media from both fans and fellow racers as the news spread.
Hey mate, we all know you can fight✊🏼My thoughts are with you and your family #69 https://t.co/AnbF8faqFO— Stefan Bradl (@stefanbradl) May 17, 2017
Keep fighting Nicky 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 https://t.co/UtAt2lno6Z— Chaz Davies (@chazdavies7) May 17, 2017