When Nicky Hayden was inducted as a MotoGP Legend in November of 2015—the Kentucky native's final full season of Grand Prix racing—Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta first recognized Hayden's notable accomplishments, including five pole positions, three race wins, 28 podiums, plus the 2006 world title, and then praised Hayden's character.

“It’s a great pleasure to give Nicky this award,” Ezpeleta told those gathered at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. Turning to Hayden, he added, “This is not just because you’ve been champion and you’re one of the riders with the most starts in the premier class, but also for your behavior over all those years, your sportsmanship, and your friendship.”

Hayden acknowledged others had enjoyed greater on-track success. "I know there are people in this club with more illustrious careers and who have obviously won more than me," he said. "Regardless, I got in there. For 13 years, it was eat, breathe, and sleep MotoGP. I've enjoyed every minute of it, worked with some great teams, and rode some great bikes."

In the year since the traffic accident in Italy that ultimately took Hayden’s life at age 35, many people around the world have made both private and public gestures to celebrate the extraordinary life and accomplishments of the popular American known affectionately as “The Kentucky Kid.” Here are four of the most recent highest-profile tributes:

Nicky Hayden
Nicky Hayden won three MotoGP races in Repsol Honda colors, with two of those coming at his “home” track, Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. This photo, taken by Gigi Soldano after the second of those victories in July of 2006, served as the basis for a life-size bronze statue of Hayden carrying an American flag that will reside on the front lawn of the Owensboro Convention Center in Owensboro, Kentucky.Gigi Soldano
  • A bronze statue depicting Hayden completing a victory lap on his factory Honda following his win at the 2006 US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca Raceway will be unveiled June 8 on the front lawn of the Owensboro Convention Center. Mayor Tom Watson is expected to declare June 9—or 6/9, a reference to Hayden's racing number—Nicky Hayden Day in Owensboro.

“It is with great pride that we as a community have the opportunity to continue ‘The Kentucky Kid’s’ legacy in his hometown,” Watson said in a release. “We will have a lasting memorial to commemorate his accomplishments to not only OBKY but to the world. I want to thank the Hayden family for allowing us to partner with them on this truly eventful day.”

“Nicky left us just under a year ago, and we still miss him every day,” added Tommy Hayden, Nicky’s older brother. “We appreciate the support that his fans have given our family during the past 12 months, and we look forward to seeing many of them as we unveil this beautiful tribute to Nicky.

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“We would like to thank the City of Owensboro for their support on this project. Nicky loved this city and took great pride in representing it in a positive way, so it’s appropriate that he’ll be memorialized here.” The full-size statue was created by award-winning artist George Lundeen of Lundeen Sculpture in Loveland, Colorado.

  • The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola is paying tribute to Hayden with a new photo exhibit, "A Million-Dollar Smile," created by photographer Mirco Lazzari. The installation opened on May 10 in Plaza Ayrton Senna and runs until June. Lazzari began shooting MotoGP in 2002, one year before Hayden arrived in the series.

Lazzari admitted he struggled to reduce the photo count to 69 images, all of which he said, like Hayden, were “special.” The Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP that Hayden raced in the first five rounds of the 2017 season in Australia, Thailand, Spain, Holland, and Italy—Imola was Hayden’s final race weekend—is also part of the display.

Mirco Lazzari
MotoGP photographer Mirco Lazzari poses in front of a few of the 69 photos that are part of the a new Nicky Hayden photo exhibition, "A Million-Dollar Smile," at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola.Dorna
  • Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, which hosts April's annual Grand Prix of The Americas, renamed Turn 18 as "Hayden Hill." A large red, white, and blue number 69 was painted in advance of the MotoGP race weekend on the turf adjacent to the corner and in the shadow of the track's signature observation tower.

Hayden competed three times at COTA—2013, ’14, and ’15, finishing ninth, 11th, and 13th, respectively—the first year on a factory Ducati and the others on production Hondas. In 2016, Hayden moved from MotoGP to the Superbike World Championship with the Red Bull Honda squad, with whom he earned a victory in Malaysia.

  • "Giardino Nicky Hayden," a park funded through donations made by a number of Hayden's friends, is under way near the area of Misano in which Hayden was cycling when he was struck by a speeding car on May 17, 2017. Work on the garden began in April with the hope of finishing it before the first anniversary of Hayden's death.