Nicky Hayden Inducted Into the MotoGP World Championship Hall of Fame

The 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden became the 22nd World Championship Hall of Fame Legend at the Valencia GP.

Nicky Hayden legend
Nicky Hayden, the 22nd MotoGP Hall of Fame legend.Photo: MotoGP

In a ceremony held at the final round of the 2015 MotoGP season in Valencia, the outgoing American champion Nicky Hayden was honored as the 22nd Hall of Fame Legend. Donna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta presented Hayden with the award.

Hayden, who announced earlier in the season that he would leave the premier class of road racing at the end of the year, will be competing in WorldSBK in 2016 (see Hayden Will Leave MotoGP To race WorldSBK here).

A three-time Grand Prix winner, 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.

MotoGP legend Nicky Hayden
“For all of us, it's a great pleasure to give Nicky this award," said Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. "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 behavior 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.”Photo: MotoGP

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.

“It is really is a great honor to receive this,” said Hayden. “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.”