The motorsport world mourns Earl Hayden


Owensboro mourns Earl Hayden. The father of MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden passed away on Wednesday at the age of 74 with his family. According to media reports, the American’s health deteriorated just before Christmas. He leaves behind Mrs. Rose, the two sons Tommy and Roger and the two daughters Jenny and Kathleen.

Thanks to the surprising World Cup success of his son Nicky in the 2006 MotoGP season, Earl Hayden also achieved great fame outside the USA. The pictures of the emotional run-off round, in which Nicky Hayden is crying hugged by father Earl, went around the world.

Earl Hayden was a racing driver himself and did everything possible to give his children the best possible conditions. He set up a training track on his own property that his five children could drive on. Races were already contested in childhood.

Earl Hayden defeated cancer in 2010 but was physically weakened

Photo: IndyCar

By the age of 16, Tommy, Nicky and Roger were already professionals. All three Hayden brothers took titles in the AMA. Nicky Hayden won the Supersport Championship in 1999 and the Superbike Championship three years later. Tommy Hayden prevailed in the Supersport class in 2004 and 2005. Roger took the 600s title in 2007.

It was Nicky Hayden who was the only one of the Hayden brothers to make it into the World Cup. After his AMA Superbike title, the charismatic American moved up to MotoGP and drove a factory bike for the Repsol Honda team. In the 2006 season, Hayden prevailed against Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi at the season finale in Valencia and ended the Italian’s winning streak.

Polesitter Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

Photo: Repsol Media

Earl Hayden suffered a setback in 2010. The doctors diagnosed cancer of the larynx. With the help of his family, Hayden conquered cancer. Four years later he published a book called “The First Family of Racing”.

In May 2017, the Hayden family had to cope with another blow of fate. Nicky Hayden had an accident on May 17, 2017 during racing bike training in Rimini and suffered a traumatic brain injury and various broken bones in a collision with a car. Five days later, the former MotoGP champion died as a result of the accident.

With images from Motorsport Images.

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