Earl Hayden is no more. He died at the age of 74 after what is modestly referred to as a battle with a prolonged illness. In his beloved Kentucky, he leaves a great void as the motorcycle world lacks a character known for being always likeable and with undeniable human values that he could have passed on to his daughters and sons, the most famous of whom was Nicky, who died tragically after a fatal traffic accident while training on his bicycle four and a half years ago.
It is the image that remains etched in the memories: the father count hugging her son Nicky crying with joy for the title of MotoGP World Champion. We were at the Valence circuit in 2006. Since then, water has been flowing under the bridges and the family Hayden has experienced tragedies, including that of the disappearance of the same Nicky in May 2017. His brothers Tommy Lee and Roger Lee made themselves known on their American soil in dirt roads and then in Superbike while the sisters Kathleen and Kenny weren’t clumsy behind the wheel either.
“Earl Hayden taught us responsibility, which is why we have always been valued by our teams”
All these beautiful people were united under the banner of “Earl’s Racing Team”, which was also a school of life: ” Earl has done so much for us », Memories on Speedweek Roger Hayden. ” And all he asked in return was that we do our best. This also applied to the time between races. We cleaned the engines at home after the training sessions and did what we could. Dad didn’t want us to hang out and watch TV in our spare time. He taught us responsibility, that’s why we have always been appreciated by our teams “.
Knowing that these last days are near, Earl Hayden made one last wish: not to die at Christmas. The Grim Reaper will have granted him this reprieve. Papa Hayden, who made a living as a used car dealer with his “3rd Chance Auto Sales” business in Owensboro, spent the holidays at home with his family and grandchildren and passed away this morning.
This Christmas means… just a little bit more! ️ pic.twitter.com/XNp3ctAoFs
— Kathleen Hayden (@Kath_Hayden) December 22, 2021