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.
The crash appears to have been a high-speed one with local media outlets publishing pictures of the auto with a smashed windscreen and Hayden's bicycle snapped in half.
Understood to have sustained severe head, pelvic and abdominal injuries, Hayden was treated on site by medical staff before being taken to a hospital near Rimini for immediate treatment.
Its official website (www.worldsbk.com) said the 35-year-old, who rides for the Red Bull Honda team, was hit while training near the east coast resort of Rimini following a race at Imola. He's receiving medical attention in Italy, and we must now be patient...
But his situation was so serious that a decision was taken to give him an emergency transfer to the bigger Bufalini Hospital in Cesena.
"More updates will come as soon as they are announced".
His WSBK team sent their best wishes to Hayden via Twitter and called for patience.
The 2006 MotoGP champion returned for a second spell in the Superbike World Championship past year and was in Italy after competing in the Motul Italian Round last weekend.
British GP rider Cal Crutchlow added: "Really thinking of Nicky Hayden and his family at the moment".