FIM Gala celebrates 2016’s best motorcycle racers
The MotoGP and World Superbikes Championships best and brightest were awarded at the 2016 FIM Gala
The seventh edition of the FIM Gala Ceremony take place, this time inside the famous Tempodrom, Berlin. Almost six hundred invited guests packed into the iconic venue in the historic city to enjoy a very special evening that rewarded the exploits of the World’s best motorcycle riders.
Aa host of motorcycling legends were on hand to present the 2016 FIM World Champions with their respective awards, whilst also being honoured themselves for their achievements within two-wheel sport.
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FIM Gala Ceremony hosts Matthew Roberts, Lisa Leyland and Gavin Emmett shared their passion and knowledge of motorcycle racing as they steered the audience through an evening to be remembered.
Legends such as Per-Olof Serenius, Tomo Igata, Gilles Burgat, Heinz Kinigadner, Gualtiero Brissoni, Jacky Vimond and Luigi Taveri were joined on stage by the likes of Marc Marquez, Johann Zarco, Brad Binder, Ryan Dungey, Jonathan Rea, Matthew Phillips, Toni Bou, Tim Gajser, Greg Hancock, and many more talented riders.
The Women’s side of the sport was once again strongly represented by Emma Bristow, Livia Lancelot and Kirsi Kainulainen.
In addition to the many FIM World Champions who stepped forward to receive their awards, the FIM also made four special presentations. These included the FIM Fair Play Trophy presented to Laia Sanz; the FIM Environmental Award, which was won by the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The FIM Road Safety Award that was handed over to the Federazione Motociclistica Italiana (FMI); and finally the winner of FIM Woman in Motorcycling Award was announced as AMA Get Women Riding Campaign – USA.
Australian Matthew Phillips (Sherco) was also awarded, and established himself as the outright best Enduro rider on the planet in 2016, going down in history as the first ever winner of the FIM EnduroGP World Championship – a new title created to reward the overall best performer across the three Enduro categories (E1, E2 and E3).
The 2014 FIM E3 Enduro World Champion raised eyebrows with his decision to ride in the E2 series on board the four-stroke Sherco SEF-R 300, switching from the two-stroke factory KTM 300EXC as he returned to the CH Racing team that powered him to the FIM Junior Enduro World Championship title in 2013.
2016 MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was the star attraction from the FIM MotoGP World Championship, picking up his medal after an incredible season in which he took his fifth world title and third premier class crown in the four seasons since his debut.
As well as Marquez, 2016 Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco was a key draw, alongside reigning Moto3 World Champion Brad Binder.
“I made few mistakes in 2015 and when you learn from them, you manage problems in a different way. Around me I have great people and a great team. The package this year was not the best one but now we have the preseason and a lot of work ahead – but the feeling is good!”
After a history-making second Championship for Zarco, the Frenchman received his award after becoming the first man to defend the Moto2 crown since its introduction in 2010 – and the first French rider to win more than one World Championship.
“Retaining the title was more difficult than clinching the first. All my rivals wanted to beat me. I’m pretty excited with MotoGP and the test has been good to understand better these kind of machines. MotoGP is a dream!”
Brad Binder earned his place at the prestigious ceremony after winning his first World Championship by an incredible margin in Moto3, clinching the title at MotorLand Aragon.
“It has been an awesome season. Great for me and my country as well. The victory in Jerez set the tone for the year and it showed how much more confident I was. Moto2 bikes are heavier…”
The South African ended his quote with a laugh as he waved his arm, now in a cast following a crash in testing – but Binder will be recovered in time to begin his 2017 campaign in the intermediate class next season.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta also picked up a medal for winning the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship this year, ahead of his full time debut in the Moto3 World Championship next season – taking the crown after a memorable final weekend at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Among the many others present were WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who took his second title in World Superbike in 2016 – becoming the first rider to win back-to-back titles in the Championship this millennium.
Alongside Rea was WorldSSP legend Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who clinched his record fifth World Supersport crown in 2016 – taking the honour at the Circuito de Jerez.
After another record breaking season, Sofuoglu made history in 2016 once again by defending his WorldSSP Crown, to win the championship for an astonishing fifth time. The Turkish rider picked up his medal in front of the world’s best, after taking the honour in Jerez in October.
After the final toast to the class of 2016, the eyes of the motorcycling world now focus further forward to the next season – with those present facing 2017 as reigning Champions, waiting for the lights to go out on another season, and another chance at each respective crown.
FIM President Vito Ippolito
“It was a great honour to host the seventh edition of the FIM Gala Ceremony in the wonderful city of Berlin, and for the first time in Germany. The Tempodrom was a wonderful place to celebrate all our 2016 FIM World Champions and to enjoy this special moment with so many people. I want to thank the riders, teams and the whole motorcycling family for being here tonight and for supporting this very important event when once again we have shown to the World the great-spirit that continues to exist within motorcycling.”