Number 69 – Earl Hayden, who was a pilot and had bequeathed the number 69, told so about his son Nicky. “When he was 3 years old, for him to sleep instead of fairy tales I told him of the great riders. Wayne Rainey, Freddie Spencer, and Kenny Roberts. He wanted to be world champion. But people told me he wasn’t going to make it.” The father these days repeating the story. “But if he has already done once, he can happen again.“ Instead, Nicky Hayden is dead. But he waited for his friends to challenge in one of the most spectacular races of recent years, in Le Mans. And the next day he said goodbye.
Number 69: A talent
Number 69 as the father, Nicky was the last rider to win a world title in the so-called the “Queen class”. A talented, brave boy. “A great rider, but above all one always smiling. Fairweather.” Valentino said. A very “cowboy” lifestyle and driving style, adventurous, loyal. In 2003, he made his debut in MotoGP with the Honda just as the teammate of Rossi. “He’s really good,” the Italian champion admitted. Then a year next to Barros, another near Biaggi. “The perfect gregarious,” the manager Carlo Pernat said. “Gregarious in the noblest sense of the term. He knew to run the bike well, gave mechanics the right advice. Tireless.”
Maverick Vinales dedicated his victory to Number 69
A Gregarious who 11 years ago had taken most beautiful satisfaction, earning the title with 2 great victories but especially many placings. Yesterday Maverick Vinales dedicated his victory to umber 69. “It’s for you, recover soon“. These days at Le Mans no one had wanted to smile. All thoughts were for him.
Now Nicky Hayden is gone and our thoughts are with him. Prayers all over the world are for a great champion. Humble, courageous, fast and so fond of smiling. Goodbye Nicky!