Former MotoGP Champion and World Superbike rider Nicky Hayden has today passed away from injuries sustained in a road cycling accident in Italy. Hayden, 35 lost his fight for life after suffering "serious cerebral damage" following a collision with a car on the Rimini coastline in Italy on Wednesday, 17th May. The American, famous for his against the odds MotoGP championship victory over Valentino Rossi in 2006, remained active at the top level of motorcycle racing right up to his tragic accident early last week. Currently racing for the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, Hayden had secured a season best result of seventh place in Thailand as he looked to improve on his fifth position in the overall standings from 2016. In a statement released by the Hayden family his brother Tommy, also a professional bike racer, had the following to say: "On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky’s fiancée Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support – it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way. “Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that. “Apart from these ‘public’ memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. We will all miss him terribly. “It is also important for us to thank all the hospital staff for their incredible support – they have been very kind. With the further support of the authorities in the coming days we hope to have Nicky home soon.” The motorsport world is in mourning today following the loss of one of the brightest characters in modern motorcycle racing. RaceDepartment wish to extend our sincerest sympathies to the friends and family of the American rider at this difficult time.