The riders Marc Márquez, Toni Bou and Laia Sanz, along with Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, the organizing company of the motorcycling world championship, were awarded this Monday at the eighth edition of the María de Villota Awards held at the Ciudad de la Raqueta in Madrid. Márquez, six-time Moto GP world champion, Toni Bou, fifteen-time indoor trial world champion and another fifteen outdoors, and Laia Sanz, ten-time Dakar rally champion in the women’s category, received their award in the same category , that of ‘Sporting feat’.
“I don’t usually attend awards during the season but this one was special because there are times when you can’t say no,” he said. Marquez, receiving the award from Emilio de Villota. “It is a pleasure to receive this award. I have received many awards for winning races but not for the values that you transmit in sport, one of them being self-improvement, that now I am putting it in value because I’m experiencing the two sides of sport with injuries,” he said.
Laia Sanz, champion of ten Dakar rallies in the women’s category, had a memory for the pilot María de Villota, who died in 2013, of whom she said that “she really liked the energy she gave off”. “He was an example for everyone and a great inspiration in the motor world for all of us,” pointed. Of the riders, the only one who could not attend the gala was Toni Bou, fifteen times indoor trial world champion and fifteen times outdoors, who sent a video message of thanks.
Carmelo Ezpeleta recalled its origins in the world of motorcycles in the seventies and put “in value how great the bikers are because the motorcycle is the most difficult, since it’s the same as cars but apart from that you hit yourself with your body”. “Being an athlete is something extraordinary. I think there are few athletes who are bad people. That’s what I like. Sport teaches us all that in difficult situations we get together and come out, “he confessed.
Together with the María de Villota awards, the Ciudad de la Raqueta awards were handed out, which, in their case, celebrated their tenth edition. The award for ‘Tennis Career’ went to Francisco ‘Pato’ Clavet, who said he was “in love with a sport like tennis” and confessed how “lucky he is to be able to dedicate himself to his vocation”, something for which he feels “very grateful”. The ‘Special City of the Racket’ award went to former tennis player Carla Suárez, of which his partner Virginia Ruano highlighted his “quality as a tennis player and his courage to overcome cancer”. “Tennis has been my life. I have enjoyed my sports career a lot. I have come out of a difficult situation like an illness and tennis, apart from the love I received, helped me to move forward”, declared an emotional Carla Suárez.
The Bullpadel company, the Spanish Paralympic Committee, the journalist Miguel Ángel Zubiarraín, the Youth Tennis League of the Madrid Federation, the Palas para todos association and the former paddle tennis players Javier Aranzana and Juan Fontán were also awarded. The gala was enlivened by the musical group Los Secretos, who played the songs ‘Ojos de gata’, ‘But by your side’ and ‘Dejame’ acoustically.