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MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden in critical condition after road accident

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2006 MotoGP world champion and current World Superbikes Championship rider Nicky Hayden is reportedly in critical condition following a road accident on Wednesday in Italy.

Hayden, 34, was out training on his bicycle in the Rimini province when he was struck by a car, leaving him with chest and head trauma.

According to a report from Rimini Today, Hayden was treated on-site and stabilized before being transferred to the local hospital, Ospedale Infermi Rimini, where he remains in a critical condition. The official World Superbike website also added that emergency services were called to the scene before his being transported to hospital.

His Honda Superbike team provided an official update within the hour.

Known as ‘The Kentucky Kid’, Hayden is America’s most recent MotoGP world champion, claiming the title in 2006 with Honda.

Hayden also raced for Ducati before moving into WSBK last year, claiming one race win for Honda en route to fifth place in the riders’ championship.

UPDATE, 2:15 p.m. ET: The official MotoGP Twitter account released an update as of 8 p.m. CET that Hayden was transported to the Cesena hospital for further treatment and possible surgery.

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.