American racing legend Nicky Hayden has been inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, as part of its 2021 class of inductees. A nod to his racing number of 69, Hayden is the 269th inductee to the Motorsports Hall of Fame.
In 2018, Hayden was posthumously inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, one of the motorcycling world’s top recognitions, but today’s announcement honors Hayden’s feats from a more mainstream perspective, as the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America recognizes those from the automotive, motorcycling, powerboats, and aviation sports.
As such, Hayden’s membership to the hall of fame recognizes the following and more from Hayden’s career in AMA Pro Racing, MotoGP, and WorldSBK:
- 1999 AMA 600 Supersport Championship
- 1999 AMA Pro Athlete of the Year Award
- 2002 Daytona 200 race winner
- 2002 AMA Superbike Championship
- 2002 Hayden-family podium sweep at the Springfield TT
- 2005 MotoGP Laguna Seca race winner
- 2006 MotoGP World Championship
- 2016 WorldSBK race winner
Hayden earned many of his accolades while riding on Honda machinery, and American Honda was instrumental in Hayden’s success throughout his career.
Accordingly, the award of being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America was presented by former Honda team manager Gary Mathers, and received by Nicky’s younger brother Roger Hayden.
Roger also kicked off the event by riding a lap of honor aboard a Repsol edition Honda CBR1000RR, while carrying the American flag, as Nicky often did following his major racing wins.
“On behalf of the entire motorcycling community, congratulations to the Hayden family for this prestigious recognition of Nicky’s accomplishments on and off the track,” said Bill Savino, Senior Manager of Customer Engagement at American Honda.
“The Kentucky Kid will always occupy a place in our hearts – as a racer, but especially as a person – and we’re pleased that the Hall of Fame also recognizes how exceptional he was.”
In 2017, Hayden tragically lost his life in a bicycle accident during a training ride in Italy. He is still missed by not only American racing fans, but also by a legion of fans around the world.
Photos: American Honda