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For the Nicky Hayden signed memorabilia collector, here is a very special item: “Determined” is an edition limited to only 10 copies, each of which was signed by Nicky Hayden as shown below.
I chose this image from the 2012 Valencia test for a Limited Edition not only because it’s one of my favorite photographs in the PHOTO.GP archive, but because it captures so much about what makes Nicky Hayden special.
First, the image itself: captured at 1/100th of a second, this photograph features a dark background blurred into a rainy Valencia day’s wash of cool colors. In the foreground, the fire red Ducati GP12, shod with Bridgestone rain tires, crests Valencia’s famed Turn 13. While the motorcycle’s movement and energy are shown in the blur of the tire tread, Nicky’s face is sharp. The intensity in his eyes is striking.
The conditions shown in the image are a large part of the story this image tells about Nicky’s character. After a long, wet, cold day in Spain, only a few riders were still on track, trying to get some benefit from still more laps in the unfavorable conditions. Of course one of these few riders was Nicky Hayden.
His fans know about his work ethic, his determination to do the best he can whatever the situation. While other riders had called it a day and were already warm in their motorhomes, Nicky was still hard at work, looking for a tenth or perhaps two that he could bring into the 2013 season.
That determination is what I see when I look at this image. As pleased as I am with the technique of the photography, it’s the look in the subject’s eyes and what that look says about his heart that’s really special about this shot.