Maverick Viñales has picked up one of Spain’s most prestigious sporting awards, the Breakthrough Athlete of 2011.
The 17 year-old who finished 3rd in both this years Moto3 championship and 3rd in last years 125cc class won the award in Madrid’s El Pardo Royal Palace.
Maverick received his award from HRH Infanta Elena who was presenting the awards along with the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.King Juan Carlos, a big motorcycle aficionado, was absent as he is still recovering from a recent hip operation.
Viñales was in attendance with his family and by the President of the Royal Spanish Motorcycling Federation (RFME) Angel Viladoms.
Other winners included Real Madrid footballer player, Cristiano Ronaldo, Olympic sailers Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos and the coach of the national football team, Vicente Del Bosque.
RFME’s Angel Viladoms said ” for a rider as young as Maverick Viñales to receive this award is an honor for Spanish motorcycling. This will continue to develop the sport in this country, and it is one of the sweetest moments of our history.”
He continued “but we have to keep working at 100% to grow and others linked to motorcycle athletes will receive awards recognizing their hard work and love for the sport. “