Hayden was killed while cycling in Italy in 2017. File picture: Honda.

Rome - An Italian driver who killed US-born World Superbike star Nicky Hayden in a road accident last year has been handed a one-year suspended jail sentence.

Hayden, 35, died in hospital on May 22, 2017, five days after being run over by a car while training on his bicycle in central Italy, south of the seaside resort of Rimini.

The 31-year-old man at the wheel was sentenced by a judge in nearby Rimini, who also suspended his driving licence, the ANSA news agency said, without naming the driver.

The prosecution had asked for a slightly longer jail term of 14 months, while defence lawyers pleaded for an acquittal.

According to local newspaper Rimini Today, it emerged during the trial that the driver was speeding at the time of the accident, and that Hayden was run over at a junction where he had ignored a "stop" sign.

Hayden, nicknamed "The Kentucky Kid", raced for Honda in MotoGP from 2003 to 2015, before moving to the Superbike World Championship for the 2016 season.

Hayden won just three grands prix in MotoGP – all in 2005-06 – but he famously took the world title that season after fighting tooth-and-nail with Valentino Rossi's Yamaha.

DPA & AFP