2006 world champion was knocked off his bike on Wednesday

Former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden has died five days after a cycling crash in Italy.

Hayden, who was 35, was hit by a car while cycling in eastern Italy on Wednesday, suffering serious head and chest injuries and being placed in intensive care following the incident.

A statement from the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital, where Hayden was being treated, confirm that the motorcyclist had passed away.

“The medical team has verified the death of the patient Nicholas Patrick Hayden, who has been undergoing care since last Wednesday 17 May in the intensive care unit of the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena following a very serious polytrauma which occurred the same day.”

The American had first entered MotoGP, the highest level of motorcycle racing in 2003, winning the world championship in 2006.

More recently he had been racing in the Superbike World Championship for Red Bull Honda and was sitting in 13th place in the championship.