Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Italy.

Hayden, known in the sport as The Kentucky Kid, was run over by a car in the beach town of Riccione, and was taken to hospital with head and chest injuries, the Corriere della Sera newspaper said.

US-born Hayden, 35, won the MotoGP championship in 2006.

He is currently competing for Team Honda in the Superbike category, and took part in a race Monday at Italy's Imola track.