Over the past day, since Nicky Hayden's untimely death was announced, there has been an outpouring of emotion from the racing community. Here is what some of Hayden's fellow competitors had to say about the tragic loss at the private Barcelona test.

Casey Stoner:
"I knew Nicky even before he was my team-mate and he always gave me a lot of time even when I was in 125s and 250s. He was always happy to have a chat and as a team-mate he was fantastic. He never really stopped smiling even when things were tough for him so he's someone we are really going to miss. Nobody has anything bad to say about him, he always put a lot into his racing and he was very close with his family, so this shows a lot of the character he was."

Jorge Lorenzo:
"It's very sad news. We knew that the situation was very complicated but when things happen like that, it leaves you in shock all the same. I wish to convey my deepest condolences to his family and friends. He was loved by everyone in the paddock, very cheerful, with a lot of energy and good vibrations."

Andrea Dovizioso:
"I got to know Nicky when he arrived in the world championship in 2003 from the USA. He was an open-minded, likeable and laid-back guy, always friendly with everyone and a real fan of bikes who managed to get some great results. In the many years he was with Ducati, he established a good rapport with everyone and, even though I only raced in the same team as him in 2013, he was a great team-mate for me and I have some nice memories of him. The fact is that we all really liked Nicky and we will miss him a lot."

Aleix Espargaro:
"Every time you lose one mate, it's very hard. But when you miss one guy that was always smiling... I don't think anyone in this paddock or the whole motorsports world can speak one bad word about Nicky. We were born on the same day and every year that we had the birthday in the paddock, we met each other, we made a picture. I'm a really positive guy and when they told me [the news] on Wednesday I was praying. I was wishing for some miracle. But yesterday when they told me I felt completely empty. I was all the afternoon feeling sick. He was 35 years old, all his life working in one of the most dangerous sports in the world. And for a f**king bicycle when he had everything to retire and be happy with his family, he pass away. I'm really sad. It's really difficult."

Sam Lowes:
"It's something really, really bad. No words can say anything to help the situation. If you see somebody with the charisma and character, and the nice guy attitude that he's got, the respect that he's got from everyone in this paddock and a lot of fans around the world, that doesn't just happen. It shows what a great guy he was. He was a MotoGP world champion. He went to World Superbike and still won races there. You can't say he wasn't a legend of the sport. He was a great, great talent, a great asset to our sport and I think he's a big loss for the sport and a big loss for everyone individually. No words can help. It's a very sad time."

Cal Crutchlow:
"What I've always loved about Nicky is that he races motorcycle because he loves racing motorcycles. You don't need to race a motorcycle, that's for sure. He went, I'm not saying back to World Superbike in a downgraded way, but he could have easily stopped. He had a great career in MotoGP and could have stayed at home, but he loves racing motorcycles."

Loris Baz:
"When you lose a good guy like this it's always really sad. You risk your life on the bike every year, in all the races and you die going cycling when you are training... I don't really get it. But it's life. It's not always how it should be. Nicky was a really great guy. I had some nice battles with him in 2015, especially in Brno. He was one of the first guys to come to me and say hello when I came to MotoGP. He was a guy I really enjoyed talking with. He was just a good guy, always smiling, and I like the people that are smiling and enjoying what they do. It's really sad but it happened too many times lately, that cyclists died."

Karel Abraham:
"It's really sad news. When we saw the pictures of the crash for the first time it looked horrible. All the news that we received it looked terrible. Yesterday when we found out Nicky passed away, it feels really bad. He was not my best friend but he was a guy I met frequently in the paddock and on the track. He was a guy I talked to many times. He was a really good guy. Now we will not be able to see him again in the paddock or on the track. I think it's a great loss, not only for racing but for the paddock, and obviously his family and friends. He was a great person. It reminds us that we just people and even though we are doing something really dangerous on the track, we still have to be careful in our personal lives. I don't believe in destiny but he is doing something so extreme all his life and then on a bicycle with bad luck, the wrong place at the wrong time, it is just horrible. It's bad news."

By Neil Morrison

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