Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, Friday, November 6th 2015
Nicky Hayden becomes MotoGP™ Legend
Nicky Hayden was inducted into the MotoGP™ World Championship Hall of Fame at the Valencia GP.
The 2006 MotoGP™ World Champion Nicky Hayden was inducted into the World Championship Hall of Fame as the 22nd MotoGP™ Legend by Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta in a ceremony held at the final round of the 2015 season in Valencia.
The American announced earlier in the season that he would leave the premier class at the end of the year in order to compete in WorldSBK in 2016.
A three-time Grand Prix winner, Nicky Hayden clinched the 2006 title with Repsol Honda, ending Valentino Rossi’s streak of 5 consecutive titles from 2001 to 2005. The popular American will leave the category after 216 Grand Prix appearances, and throughout his illustrious career the ‘Kentucky Kid’ has been on the podium 28 times, posted 7 race fastest laps and taken 5 pole positions.
Hayden joins a long list of greats that have been made MotoGP™ Legends that includes Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Marco Simoncelli, Freddie Spencer, Casey Stoner, John Surtees and Carlo Ubbiali.
Nicky Hayden: “It is really is a great honour to receive this. I do not take it lightly, I know there are people in this club with more illustrious careers and who have obviously won more than me, but regardless I got in there! I am very happy. I mean for 13 years it was eat, breathe and sleep MotoGP. It’s been an amazing ride. Of course these last two years have been tough, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, worked with some great teams and rode some great bikes.”
I’d just like to thank everybody who has supported me through it all, my teams and my family, I appreciate it all. Thanks also to Carmelo; I think MotoGP – as much as the last weeks have been a little negative – is in a great place. The sport is bigger and better than ever, the tracks are safer and the young talent keeps getting younger and faster. So the future is very bright.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta – CEO of Dorna Sports: “For all of us, it’s a great pleasure to give Nicky this award – this is not just because you’ve been Champion and you’re one of the riders with most starts in the premier class, but also for your behaviour over all those years, your sportsmanship and your friendship. It’s a great pleasure to consider you one of our legends. Thank you for all you’ve done for the sport in all those years.”