US racer Hayden still in "extremely critical" condition

Since the accident, Hayden's girlfriend Jackie and several members of the Honda World Superbike team that he now races for have been with him too.

Nicky Hayden was brought to hospital in serious condition with severe head and chest injuries after the road accident near Rimini.

Hayden won the 2006 MotoGP world championship with three victories that season.

At 18:00 some four hours after the accident, Rimini hospital staff announced that he'd been moved to the major trauma unit in Cesena for possible surgery, with his condition at the time being referred to as "critical".

Nicky Hayden remains in extremely critical condition at an Italian hospital with severe brain and chest injuries after he was hit by a vehicle while cycling.

"Nicky Hayden's clinical conditions remain extremely serious", the Bufalini hospital of Cesena said in a statement. He was later transferred to Bufalini Hospital.

Doctors had placed the 2006 MotoGP champion, known as "The Kentucky Kid", into a medically induced coma after the incident on Wednesday, the BBC reported earlier.

He now sits 13th in the 2017 Superbikes standings.

There was continued support for Hayden and his family on social media throughout Thursday.

On Friday the hospital provided an update on the Honda World Superbike rider's status, as several MotoGP competitors bore symbols and hashtags in tribute to the 35-year-old. We will post more updates as they come.

He rode for Repsol Honda, Ducati Corse, Drive M7 Aspar Team, and Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.

Michele Scarponi, the 2011 Giro d'Italia cycling champion, was killed last month after being hit by a van while training close to his home in Filottrano in eastern Italy.

Vanessa Coleman