Nicky Hayden's funeral takes place today
The service took place at the Saint Stephen Cathedral in his hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky.
It started around 6pm UK time, was live streamed on his Facebook page and lasted around two hours.
The MotoGP legend, who won the title in 2006, was pronounced dead last week after being knocked off his road bike while cycling on the Rimini coastline in Italy.
Hayden’s supporters have taken to the web to share some of the most touching stories you will read about the man they adore.
Hundreds of fans have taken to Hayden’s official Facebook page, entitled “Nicky Hayden- The Kentucky Kid", to deliver a string of memories about times they met their idol.
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Supporter Franco Zacco wrote: “We moved to Owensboro about 3 years ago. We were off loading our motorcycles from the moving van and the previous owner of the house saw them and asked us if we watched MotoGP. We said yes.
“Then they asked us if we knew who Nicky Hayden was. We said, of course. He then pointed to a house across the street from ours and said that's his house. I got to see him come and go once in awhile, but the most memorable was when I was heading home a block or two from my house on my CBR 1000RR and I saw an unassuming pick up truck passing by.
“The driver waved at me but it took me a second to realize it was Nicky himself. Maybe he waved at me because I was on a Honda, maybe because I was on a motorcycle, maybe because he was such a nice guy that he waves at everyone.
“The second time was at Day of Champions again. Nicky had moved to WSB at this time and I wasn't sure if he would be there. I was wandering thru the paddock and there's Nicky, just standing there in the sun. I walked up to him and said "Dude…you're here!?". And Nicky says "Course man…it's Day of Champions!", and gives me the biggest smile.
“Silly stories I know but this is how he was with fans. Genuine superstar, and I will miss him…”
Another fan, Mark Roberson, said: “I met Nicky at the Donnington park rnd of the 500cc class it was the thursday the charity day and I remember his smile and what stood out the most was he was totally happy to be with his supporters when other riders were hiding away. He spoke to me and my girlfriend and I will never forget that moment.”
Following his death, the Hayden family released the following obituary to a man nicknamed the Kentucky Kid.
Nicky Hayden crash pictures Mon, May 22, 2017
Nicky Hayden has died after being involved in a road accident while cycling in Italy
Play slideshow EPA•GETTY 1 of 8
World Superbike champion Nicky Hayden has died after a tragic accident, aged 35
THE HAYDEN FAMILY OBITUARY
Nicholas “Nicky” Hayden passed away on Monday, May 22, 2017, at the age of 35, following a May 17 bicycle accident in Italy.
That said, there was never any doubt about where home was. Even after he began traveling the globe to race in exotic locales, Nicky would always return to his beloved “OWB.” He received his education through local Catholic schools—Precious Blood Elementary School, Owensboro Catholic Middle School and Owensboro Catholic High School—and his first jobs comprised helping out at his uncles’ nearby farms, where he began developing the tenacious work ethic for which he would be known throughout his racing career. He remained close with his core group of childhood friends throughout his life, and he helped many young local racers to pursue their own dreams.
For Nicky, a distinguished amateur dirt track and road racing career transitioned into a successful stint in the AMA Grand National Championship and AMA Superbike series, in which he earned the 1999 AMA Supersport and 2002 AMA Superbike crowns with American Honda. He was promoted to the FIM MotoGP series with Repsol Honda, for whom he achieved his dream of earning the World Championship in 2006. Nicky also rode for Ducati and Aspar Racing in MotoGP, and last year he transitioned to the FIM Superbike World Championship with the Ten Kate squad. Along the way, his charisma earned him legions of fans the world over, while his dedication and professionalism earned the respect and admiration of his teams, teammates and competitors.
Among those who knew him best, Nicky was cherished for his generosity, kindness, and mischievous sense of humor. His famous grin was never far from his lips, and he invariably had time to engage with others, even strangers. The life of any party, Nicky loved to dance, wear funny costumes, and pull pranks, often with a microphone in hand.
Throughout it all, family was Nicky’s anchor. Many Americans who race internationally opt to relocate overseas, but Nicky always preferred to return home between events. Well into his professional career, he resided in an apartment above his parents’ garage, and even after purchasing his own home nearby, he religiously showed up for his mother’s 6 o’clock dinners when he wasn’t traveling. Several years ago, he purchased and refurbished an old building on an Owensboro lake, and what he dubbed Victory Lane Lodge became the family’s preferred location for functions of all types, from Sunday get-togethers to weddings. He loved children and was a model uncle, and friends and family say he was never happier than after meeting girlfriend Jackie, with whom he became engaged last year.
Nicky is survived by his parents Earl and Rose; his siblings Tommy, Jennifer, Roger, and Kathleen; his fiancée Jacqueline Marin; nieces Olivia, Klaudia, Vera, Kyla Jo, and Kate; nephew Colt; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.