(Motorcycling) Ex-world champion Hayden 'extremely critical'

The smashed window of the car that hit Nicky Hayden

The smashed window of the car that hit Nicky Hayden. Tommaso Torri

"The clinical picture remains extremely serious and compared to the previous day there have been no changes".

"After a few years, we fought for the title down to the last race in Valencia and, unfortunately for me, he won and became MotoGP world champion".

The 35-year-old Owensboro native was training on his bicycle when he was hit by a vehicle between Tavoleto and Riccione, south of the resort town of Rimini.

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Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden has suffered severe brain damage and his condition is "extremely critical" after being hit by a vehicle while cycling in eastern Italy, the American's Honda World Superbike team said yesterday. Once Nicky's condition was stabilized, he was transferred to Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena and remains in the hospital's intensive care unit.

The American 2006 MotoGP champion and WSBK racer from Owensboro, Kentucky sustained grave injuries from the collision and has been put into a medically-induced coma. He was 13th in the points following the latest Superbike race at Imola.

He was joined by his fiancée Jackie along with his brother Tommy and mother Rose, at the hospital.

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There was continued support for Hayden and his family on social media throughout Thursday. He competed in Moto GP from 2003-2015.

Italian great Valentino Rossi, who leads the MotoGP championship and is racing in France this weekend, hailed his former teammate. "For Nicky, we're all with you", the Italian MotoGP legend added.

He spent a further nine years in MotoGP racing with Ducati and the Aspar team before making a switch to the Superbike series and now rides for the Red Bull Honda World Suberbike Team.

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The dangers of training on public roads have been highlighted in recent weeks by other accidents affecting professional athletes.

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