Barcelona, Spain -MotoGP World champion Valentino Rossi was awarded with the Spirit of Sport prize at the Laureus Sports Awards in Barcelona on Tuesday night.

The award is given to an individual who has raised the profile of his or her chosen field.

The ceremony was a star-studded affair attended by Spain's King Juan Carlos, and with Hollywood actors Cuba Gooding and Teri Hatcher presenting.

A Who's Who of of sporting legends was also there but it was once again Valentino Rossi who stole the show, bringing proceedings to a close by riding on to the stage on a Yamaha R1 before collecting his award from MotoGP Legend Giacomo Agostini and Formula 1's Bernie Ecclestone.

Rossi had earlier also been a nominee for World Sportsman of the Year for the third consecutive time but that award went to Swiss tennis-player Roger Federer.

Nevertheless, when he finally made his entrance with trademark flamboyance, the five-times MotoGP champion received huge applause.

  • The Laureus Sports Awards are voted for by the Laureus Academy's 42 members, which includes Agostini and other sporting legends such as Bobby Charlton, Seve Ballesteros, Ed Moses and Boris Becker.

    The won the award for helping to raise MotoGP's profile worldwide and for his continued high level of performance after five consecutive MotoGP titles.