GRAND Prix motorcycling icon Angel Nieto died on Ibiza on Thursday. The seventy-year-old had suffered a serious brain injury after a car struck his quad bike last week on the island.
The Spanish motorcycling legend had 13 world championships to his name. He was placed in an induced coma for eight days before his condition quickly deteriorated.
Doctors had sounded optimistic that he might be gradually wakened from his coma early next week. Instead he died early on Thursday evening, August 3, with his family by his side.
MotoGP released the following statement after his death:
“Spanish motorcycling giant Angel Nieto has passed away at hospital in Ibiza, sadly succumbing to injuries sustained in a quad bike accident on July 26th. The 13-time World Champion – whose superstition always referred to his titles as 12+1 – was a MotoGP Legend and a key figure in establishing Spain as a world-beating force in Grand Prix motorcycle racing. He was 70 years old.
“After remaining in intensive care for a week following the accident, the rider from Zamora’s condition then sadly deteriorated before he passed away on August 3rd.
“The MotoGP community extends its deepest condolences to Nieto’s family and friends as we bid farewell to a true giant of motorcycling history who will be greatly missed.”
Nieto won world championships in the 50cc, 80cc and 125cc classes, also competing at 250cc. His racing career spanned from 1964-1986. After he retired from the sport Nieto became a regular Grand Prix commentator on Spanish television and lived on Ibiza for many years.