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Nicky Hayden, former MotoGP champion, passes away after cycling accident

23 May, 2017

News broke last week that 35-year-old Honda rider and former MotoGP champion, Nicky “The Kentucky Kid” Hayden, was involved in an incident with a car while while cycling in Rimini, Italy, following the Imola World Superbike round. 

While we initially held off reporting the incident in the hopes that Hayden would pull through, sadly, news has reached us that he passed away overnight.

Younger brother Tommy Hayden said in a statement, “On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky’s fiancée Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support … although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that.”

Throughout his 13 year career, Hayden made a total of 217 MotoGP starts and most notably beat out Valentino Rossi to claim the 2006 world championship title in his fourth of six seasons with the Repsol Honda team. 

In a controversial decision, he would leave Honda for a switch to the Ducati Marlboro Team to ride alongside Casey Stoner for the 2009 MotoGP season. Hayden would return to riding Honda in 2014 with the Aspar Racing Team where he would spend his final two full-time seasons campaigning the World Superbike Championship.

The former champion returned to MotoGP for spot starts to replace the injured Honda rider Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda) at Aragon, finishing 15th; and factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa at Phillip Island, which also marked his first appearance on a Repsol Honda since 2008 — he would only finish 17th after colliding with Jack Miller late in the race.

Hayden leaves behind fiancee Jackie, mother Rose, father Earl, and younger brother Tommy.

Rest well, champ.

Penny’s Pagoda – Mercedes Benz 230 SL

We scouted out a few different locations for photographing this car, but they all had one thing in common. At every stop, people could not help but come up and compliment owner Penny Webster on her stunning Horizon Blue Mercedes 230 SL.
There’s something about the ‘Pagoda’ Mercedes — so-called because the distinctive dipping curve of its roofline echoes that of the famous Eastern tiered temples — that encourages people to speak up.
Many classic cars attract a second look, but in most cases people keep their thoughts to themselves. It was striking how many people felt the need to express the warmth of their feelings about this car.
The expansive glass cockpit, the friendly, subtle lines, and its simple three-box shape seem to encourage openness among passers-by.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.