A member of the Oakley family since 2004, Nicky Hayden is one of motorcycle racing’s true standouts!

In just his fourth year competing within the world renowned Moto GP race series, the charismatic 25 year old made motorcycle racing history winning the overall series and title of MOTO GP CHAMPION for the 2006 season! One of three riders on the current grid to have won the MotoGP World Championship, alongside six-time winner Valentino Rossi and 2007 title winner Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden is amongst the most high profile riders competing in the premier class.

The young phenome hailing from Owensboro, Kentucky comes from a true racing family – Nicky’s two brothers Tommy and Roger also compete in several classes of AMA motorcycle racing series, his father, Earl was a dirt track racer for 20 years and even his mother, Rose rode the Powder Puff class for five years.

The American had a long-standing association with Honda, having ridden for the factory since his arrival in MotoGP in 2003. He was thrown in at the deep end, teamed with Rossi for his rookie season, but certainly had the calibre to back up what had seemed like a bold move.

Indeed a racing prodigy, earlier in his career, Nicky became the youngest rider in the 27-year history of Superbike racing to win the 2002 AMA U.S. Superbike Championship. Just 2 weeks after his 21st birthday, Nicky finished the 16 round series with nine wins and four additional podium finishes thereby moving him into a third place spot on the all-time AMA U.S. Superbike wins list…with a career total of 17 Superbike victories!

Nicky continued to define motorcycle racing history in the 2003 racing season, moving up to the World Moto GP circuit and completing the season with Rookie of the Year honors. He garnered his first career Moto GP win on July 10, 2005 at Laguna Seca, in front of a record setting U.S. crowd and finished that year a very respectable third place overall.

In 2005 his move to become official HRC rider coincided with the return of the World Championship to Laguna Seca. Hayden didn’t squander a rare track knowledge advantage and led the race from start to finish, earning a first MotoGP victory. After that brilliant triumph he assumed a much more active role in the series, and in the following nine Grands Prix stepped onto the podium on five occasions and closed the season in third position overall.

‘The Kentucky Kid’ took his crowning glory in a stunning 2006 season, becoming MotoGP World Champion in the final race of the season at Valencia after a cat-and-mouse year of defending his lead ahead of former teammate Rossi. He stepped onto the top step of the rostrum at Assen and repeated his home triumph at Laguna Seca.

If 2006 represented the best year of Hayden’s MotoGP career to date, 2007 became the unwanted hangover of the celebrations. Incompatibility with the 800cc Honda RC212V, coupled with the dominance of Casey Stoner and a slice of old fashioned bad luck, leave few good memories for the winner of three Grands Prix. A trio of podium finishes sandwiched the crushing disappointment of the U.S. Grand Prix, ruined by a collision with John Hopkins on the opening lap, and Hayden was unable to take a win in his title defending season.

In what was to be a final year as a Honda rider, 2008 saw Hayden pick up his form for the last third of the season despite a heel injury (picked up whilst participating in the ESPN X-Games event). His first podium came at the inaugural Indianapolis round of the World Championship, and he followed the runner-up spot up with third in Malaysia. By the time of his last ride for Repsol Honda, he was already confirmed as a Ducati factory rider for 2009, teaming up with fellow former World Champion Stoner.

Aside from his illustrious racing career, Nicky has collaborated on a book, Hayden Brothers from OWB to Moto GP and he recently completed work on his MTV special, The Kentucky Kid. In spare time, Nicky enjoys motocross, XR50’s, playing basketball and spending time with friends and family.

Nicky Hayden

Date of Birth:
July 30, 1981
Owensboro, Kentucky
Ducati, Alpinestars, Tissot, Aria, Axio and Starline
Motocross, XR50's, Basketball and spending time with family and friends

Career Highlights