Throwback Thursday: Nicky vs. Jay

Larry Lawrence | October 3, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Nicky vs. Jay

Henny Ray Abrams photo

We came across an epic photo for this week’s Throwback. It’s from the Du Quoin (IL) Mile in 2002. It shows Nicky Hayden on the gas of his Honda RS750, sideways coming out of a turn, holding off three-time AMA Grand National Champion Jay Springsteen on his Harley-Davidson XR750. “Springer” was already a living legend when this photo was taken, while Hayden had just wrapped up the 2002 AMA Superbike Championship, becoming the youngest rider ever to do so. He was about to embark on his storied MotoGP career, that would eventually see him become World Champion in 2006. In this Du Quoin National, Springsteen came out ahead, finishing seventh, while Hayden was 13th. Their finishing positions mean little now – the very fact that the camera of Henny Ray Abrams brilliantly caught two of the biggest stars in the history of American motorcycle racing together, brings us the opportunity to enjoy this amazing moment in time, all these years later.

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