Number 69 will be retired from MotoGP World Championship. This decision has been made in the honour of Nicky Hayden, as the Champion from Owensboro will be remembered at this year’s Grand Prix of the Americas. This represents one more tribute to the ‘Kentucky Kid’, who had already entered MotoGP Hall of Fame following the great achievements he scored in MotoGP, in particular the title he won in 2006. Hayden’s number becomes the sixth one to be retired, as it follows 74 (Daijiro Kato), 48 (Shoya Tomizawa), 34 (Kevin Schwantz), 58 (Marco Simoncelli) and 65 (Loris Capirossi).
Here are the thoughts of Earl Hayden, Nicky’s father: “What a great honor it will be for Nicky’s #69 to be retired at Austin. It is very fitting that it will be done at the US race as these races meant so much to Nicky and he looked forward to them so much every year. For myself in particular this will be very special event because the #69 was my number when I raced and I was very proud to see Nicky run the #69 on his bikes for his entire career. On behalf of my entire family I would like to say a special thanks to Dorna for honoring Nicky in this special way along with the many other gestures they have done to support us through the difficult times.”
The CEO of Dorna Sports Carmelo Expeleta admitted: “I’m proud to announce that the number 69 will be retired from Grand Prix racing. Nicky Hayden was one of the biggest assets to this paddock and a fantastic example as a rider both on track and off. It gives me great pleasure to honour his legacy once again and ensure the number 69 remains synonymous with a legend and a Champion.”