Nicky's taken a beating over the years on the issue of being "too soft" to be a champ. I've met him and his brothers. I've seen Nicky and his brothers ride hurt and there is no doubt that the guys are as "tough" as any racer out there. I'd dare say that the only guys out there that may be as tough or tougher are the Boz Bros.
You make a really good point and I totally agree. The Hayden boys are made from tough stuff. All of them have competed with injuries. Tommy had a banged up hand this year. Roger was banged up as well. Wish they would get more press here in the USA. Great role models. Jay Leno showed a lot of class by having them on his show.