One more well-deserved demonstration of affection, in tribute to one who was a champion on track as well as a very special man off it.
During the American Grand Prix, at the COTAS in Austin, number 69 will be withdrawn, the number famously used by deceased rider Nicky Hayden, MotoGP world champion with Honda in 2006.
The Kentucky Kid, who is already a MotoGP legend, lined up with the number 69 in 2003 and, aside from carrying the #1 plate in 2007, continued to remain faithful to his number for the rest of his career.
This tribute to Nicky and his family will come during the race weekend (12-14 April), with the definitive withdrawal of the number, meaning that no other GP rider will be able to run #69.
Carmelo Ezpelata, Dorna CEO, states:"I'm proud to announce that the number 69 will be retired from Grand Prix racing, because Nicky Hayden was one of the biggest assets to this paddock and a fantastic example as a rider both on track and off. The number 69 remains synonymous with a legend and a Champion."
Father Earl, who followed Nicky from day one right up until his final race, acknowledges the gesture: “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 made to support us through the difficult times. #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."