Hayden was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1981 to Earl and Rose Hayden - both dirt track riders in their own right - and was on a bike by age three.

When he was five he started racing against older brothers Tommy and Roger Lee Hayden on a homemade track on the Hayden property.

Well into his professional career, he resided in an apartment above his parents’ garage, and even after purchasing his own home nearby, he religiously showed up for his mother’s 6 o’clock dinners when he wasn’t traveling.

Several years ago, he purchased and refurbished an old building on an Owensboro lake, and what he dubbed Victory Lane Lodge became the family’s preferred location for functions of all types, from Sunday get-togethers to weddings.

After finishing second in 2000, and third in '01, Hayden's breakthrough year came in 2002.

He added to his 600 success by becoming the youngest AMA Superbike champion, as well as winning the prestigious Daytona 200.

Apart from an annual spring-break jaunt to Panama City, Florida, family trips were to racetracks, first around the Midwest, then the Eastern U. That said, there was never any doubt about where home was.

Even after he began traveling the globe to race in exotic locales, Nicky would always return to his beloved “OWB.” He received his education through local Catholic schools—Precious Blood Elementary School, Owensboro Catholic Middle School and Owensboro Catholic High School—and his first jobs comprised helping out at his uncles’ nearby farms, where he began developing the tenacious work ethic for which he would be known throughout his racing career.‘The medical college has confirmed the death of the patient Nicholas Patrick Hayden, recovering from Wednesday May 17 in a hospital intensive care unit of Cesena Bufalini as a result of serious multiple injuries occurred on that date,’ read a statement from the hospital.Riding and racing motorcycles was a life-long passion for 2006 Moto GP world champion Nicky Hayden, who died on Monday as a result of injuries sustained in a cycling accident in Italy.Here is the obituary in full from the Hayden family.— Nicholas Patrick Hayden July 30, 1981 – May 22, 2017 Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Hayden passed away on Monday, May 22, 2017, at the age of 35, following a May 17 bicycle accident in Italy.He loved children and was a model uncle, and friends and family say he was never happier than after meeting girlfriend Jackie, with whom he became engaged last year.