The prestigious 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony took place in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, with MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez receiving the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award.
The performance of Marquez in MotoGP last year, which saw him become the youngest-ever champion in the premier class, convinced the Laureus judges that he was a more than worthy winner of the prize.
His achievement in winning the MotoGP title at the age of 20 years and 266 days, with six victories along the way, also saw Marquez become the first rider to win the crown in his rookie season since Kenny Roberts in 1978. Marquez also rewrote the history books last year by becoming the youngest ever premier class Grand Prix winner in Austin in April, at just 20 years and 63 days of age.
A global television audience tuned in to the awards ceremony in the Malaysian capital, with Marquez receiving his award on stage from motorcycling giants Giacomo Agostini and Mick Doohan.
Marquez commented, “I want to thank the Laureus Academy for giving me this prize. It’s a special experience for me to be here, at just 20 years of age, with so many sporting legends. This is one of the most important awards I have ever won. I also want to thank everyone who has helped me in my career and to win the title.”
Other award winners at the ceremony included Sebastian Vettel (Laureus World Sportsman of the Year), Missy Franklin (Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year), Bayern Munich (Laureus World Team of the Year) and Rafael Nadal (Laureus World Comeback of the Year).
MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi is a previous Laureus award winner. His remarkable recovery from injury in 2010 was recognized by the Laureus Academy, as the Italian rider was honored with the Laureus World Sports Award ‘Comeback of the Year’ prize.