There is no point in trying to assemble words describing how I feel about the loss of Nicky Hayden. He was a pleasure to watch on the track, and I now realize how much I looked forward to hearing that accent as he talked about the mundane aspects of qualifying or bike set up during interviews.
There isn’t anyone like him in the paddock, and probably no one in the wings ready to step in. If asphalt motorcycle racing had a spirit animal, it was Nicky Hayden. There are plenty of bright stars and even a few genuine characters in motorcycle racing (something the discipline can lord over the many robots in auto racing)… but there was only one Nicky.
My condolences to to the Hayden family amd all the “Owensboro Mafia” on this saddest of days.