Estoril Casino - Portugal - Around five hundred guests packed into the impressive Silver and Black room of the Estoril Casino to enjoy a very special evening that recognised and rewarded the exploits of the World's best motorcycle riders. Broadcast live on TV in several different countries a host of motorcycling legends were on hand to present the 2011 FIM World Champions with their respective awards, whilst also being honoured themselves for their services to two wheel sport.
Legends such as Angel Nieto, Carl Fogarty, Eric Geboers, Yjro Vesterinen, Giovanni Sala, Tony Rickardsson and Iris Kramer were joined on stage by the likes of Carlos Checa, Stefan Bradl, Antonio Cairoli, Toni Bou, Juha Salminen, Greg Hancock, Stephanie Laier, Ludivine Puy, and Laia Sanz as winners of their respective FIM World Championships. With Suzi Perry at the helm the ceremony flowed seamlessly and was packed with style and knowledge thanks to her specialist motorcycle expertise.
In addition to the many FIM World Champions who stepped forward to receive their awards, the FIM also made three special presentations for FIM Rookie of the Year, FIM Woman of the Year and FIM Personality of the Year. These three awards were voted for by the media, fans, teams, industry and riders via the FIM-LIVE.com website during more recent weeks, with over twelve thousand votes being received in total.
The winner of the FIM Rookie of the Year was Maciej Janowski (FIM Speedway Under 21 World Champion). Spain's Laia Sanz (FIM Women's Trial World Champion) was voted FIM Woman of the Year, whilst Carlos Checa also from Spain (FIM Superbike World Champion) received the award for FIM Personality of the Year. The FIM Environmental Award was won by the Australian Federation. This award was created in order to encourage a greater awareness of environmental concerns within the motorcycling World and to reward a significant contribution to the protection of the environment.
Speaking about this incredible and unique occasion Vito Ippolito, FIM President stated. "Last year was the first year for the FIM Gala, and whilst it was a great success, the second edition has been even better. It is such a pleasure and honour to have so many FIM World Champions and our extended FIM family all together to share this wonderful evening."
"Even though conditions remain tough in the wider World, motorcycle sport continues to show its strength and provides millions of people across the globe with wonderful entertainment each weekend throughout the season. Tonight we have seen the stars and heroes of the various disciplines collect their prizes in recognition of the skill, bravery and endeavour they show each time they ride. Each winner richly deserves the applause they received."
"Again I must thank the riders and teams for being here tonight, as after their busy schedules I know they will be ready for the winter break. However I think even only its second year, we can all understand the importance of the FIM Gala both for the FIM and for motorcycle sport as a whole."
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