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Just days after a bicycle crash in Italy in which he suffered chest and head trauma, motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden has succumbed to his injuries.

He was only 35.

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Reported by various news organizations such as Fox Sports, Nicky’s death on May 22 shocked the entire racing community, with many superstars and fans alike quickly heading to their social media to express their sadness over his passing. “Saddened by the news that Nicky Hayden has passed,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote in a tweet on May 22, minutes after the announcement was made. “Honored to have met him. My heart goes out to his family and friends across the world.”

Known best as the “Kentucky Kid,” Nicky’s career began when he was just 21 years old in the MotoGP premiere class, and he eventually won the MotoGP World Championship in 2006. He stayed within that series until 2016, when he switched to the Superbike World Championship series. Since his accident, many NASCAR stars had expressed their concern about Nicky and their hopes that he would recover from his injuries — wishes that sadly will not come true.

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We pass our sincere condolences to Nicky’s family, friends and devoted fans.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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