American road racer Nicky Hayden died of head injuries received in a May 17 collision with a car while training on his bicycle near Rimini, Italy. When the sad news broke I was taken aback. After processing the news for several hours I decided to create something positive out of this tragedy.
I teamed up with my friend Alex Ophuizen of Mini 3D Drivers to create this commemorative figurine in tribute to Nicky. It’s a 3D with a custom patriotic livery. It is available for purchase on the 3D-Racetracks Online Store. All profits from this figurine will go to a charity of your choice – either the Roadracing World Action Fund, which Helmets.org, or the FIA Road Safety Fund. I have reached out to the Hayden family with regards to this endeavor to make sure they know my intentions are honorable.
I admired Nicky Hayden as a person as well as a rider. He was someone I was proud to point out to my kids to tell them that he was a MotoGP champion and someone they could look up to and respect not just for his successes, but also because in the face of difficulties he never gave up and never pointed blame.
He did everything he could to bring victory to his team. When Ducati chose Cal Crutchlow to replace him on the factory team he didn’t add to all the drama by pointing fingers or assigning blame. He said not to worry about him, that he’d be fine and that he was proud of his work at Ducati. The following year, he worked just as hard to try to get the best out of a Honda bike that was truly an underwhelming machine. Same thing when he made the jump to Superbikes. “When asked why he’d continued so long in MotoGP, even on uncompetitive machinery, he made his famous remark that, ‘If I wasn’t here, I’d be home in Kentucky pickin’ melons.”
It was his passion, his work ethic, and his decency that made him a role model, someone to emulate in whatever it is in life that is your calling. That will never change.
The Hayden’s raised a fine boy who turned into a fine man who will continue to be an inspiration to us all. I hope this figurine and the good it does via its charity contributions are seen as my tribute to a man who will be missed.
Ride On Kentucky Kid
About the Charities:
Roadracing World Action Fund promotes motorcycle racing safety, and in particular, encourages and facilitates the use of soft air barriers at motorcycle racing events.
Helmets.org is a non-profit consumer-funded program providing bicycle helmet information.
FIA Road Safety Fund facilitates alliances between private sector donors and NGOs to support road injury prevention programmes in countries and communities working to defeat the growing epidemic of road traffic death and injury.