American rider Nicky Hayden was involved in a serious road accident after being struck by a car while training on his bicycle on Wednesday in Italy.
According to Italian website Rimini Today, the Red Bull Honda World Superbike star was treated for severe chest and head trauma at the scene before being transported to hospital.
Pictures of the Peugeot car involved in the incident show substantial damage to the front windscreen.
The website said the 2006 MotoGP world champion was later moved from hospital in Rimini to Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, where he remained in a serious condition.
Tweets from Hayden’s team yesterday evening said: “Thank you to all Nicky’s fans for your support after his accident. He’s receiving medical attention in Italy, and we must now be patient.
“The medical teams are working hard, and we will provide updates as soon as they are available.
“All we can confirm is that Nicky was involved in an incident while cycling & has been transferred to a hospital near Rimini for treatment.”
World Superbike Championship promoters Dorna confirmed that Hayden faced possible surgery.
Ulsterman Jonathan Rea, the reigning World Superbike champion, was among those to tweet messages of support, saying: “Praying for @NickyHayden and family!”