The motorcycle racing world is mourning the loss of former world champion Nicky Hayden, who died Monday after sustaining severe injuries during a training collision. Hayden, 35, was struck by a vehicle while bicycling along the Rimini coastline in Italy Wednesday, reports the BBC. Over five days, he was treated in an intensive care unit for multiple traumatic injuries, including cerebral damage. According to ESPN, the 30-year-old driver of the Peugeot that struck Hayden was brought in for questioning and passed a breathalyzer test. “We would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest—riding a motorcycle,” says brother Tommy Hayden, who is also a professional racer.
Hayden was in Italy riding for the Red Bull Honda team at the World Superbike Championship in nearby Imola, where he came in 13th days before the accident occurred. He is best known for winning the coveted 2006 MotoGP world champion title, for which he bested legendary Italian racer Valentino Rossi. Athletes and friends took to Twitter to remember Hayden for his professionalism and friendly demeanor, including British racer Danny Kent, who shared a sweet personal message from Hayden congratulating him on his own world championship in 2015. The city of Owensboro in Kentucky, where Hayden was born, commemorated Hayden—known as the “Kentucky Kid”—by flying its flags at half-staff.