MotoGP Legend Nicky Hayden's Number 69 To Be Retired
Almost two years after iconic MotoGP star Nicky Hayden's tragic
death, his number 69 will be retired from the premiere class of
motorcycle racing. The decision to retire the Kentucky Kid's number
is a fitting tribute to a great person who was a standout racer on
the track and a humble and highly respected man off the track. As
one of the elite few American riders to win the coveted premiere
class title in the 70 year history of the Grand Prix Road-Racing
World Championship, it only makes sense that Hayden's number will
be retired on US soil during the Red Bull Grand Prix of the
Americas in Austin, Texas, April 12-14.
Born with a competitive spirit flowing in his veins, Nicky followed the motorcycle tire tracks set by his father who raced under the number 69 and rode on to establish a great career highlighted by accolades and milestones.
1999: AMA 600 Supersport Champion, AMA Ricky Graham Flat Track Rookie of the Year, AMA Pro Athlete of the Year
2002: AMA Superbike Champion, Daytona 200 Winner, youngest AMA Superbike Champion (age 21)
2003: MotoGP Rookie of the Year
2006: MotoGP World Champion
2015: Named a MotoGP Legend by FIM
2017: AMA Horizon Award re-named to The Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Award
2018: Red Bull American Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas the number 69 spray painted on turn 18 and officially renamed, "Hayden Hill."
2018: Inducted into AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Just as he was one of the very few American riders to win a MotoGP championship, Nicky's number 69 will join a short list of other memorable MotoGP numbers which have been retried such as #34 (Kevin Schwantz), #58 (Marco Simoncelli), #65 (Loris Capirossi) and #74 (Daijiro Kato).
In an article on MotoGP about the retiring of Nicky's number, his father Earl stated, "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."