ROSSI HONOURED AT LAUREUS AWARDS IN BARCELONA
Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi was honoured at the annual Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona last night, receiving the 'Spirit of Sport' Award for raising the profile of MotoGP during his five-year World Championship reign. The defending champion flew immediately to Barcelona after concluding a day's testing with his Camel Yamaha Team in Le Mans yesterday and entered the ceremony on board a Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle. He accepted the award from Yamaha's first World Champion, Giacomo Agostini and Formula One Director Bernie Ecclestone.
Rossi was a nominee for the third year running in the 'World Sportsman of the Year' category, but lost out to Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, who collected the prize for the second consecutive year.
Speaking after the ceremony, the 27 year old from Tavullia said "I am very happy to have received this award tonight, and very proud to be considered such an important ambassador for our sport. It's also a big honour for me to be nominated once again for the main award alongside such great sportsmen."
The Laureus Awards are the only global awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. This year's ceremony was presented by Hollywood actors Teri Hatcher and Cuba Gooding Junior and attended by King Juan Carlos of Spain, as well as a host of stars from the world of sport including Michael Johnson, Bobby Charlton, Seve Ballesteros and Boris Becker.