Laia Sanz

FIM Fair Play trophy

Since its introduction in 1986 the FIM Fair Play trophy has been awarded on nine occasions. The award was created in order to encourage an awareness of the concept of fair play and to reward any significant act of the same in motorcycle sport. The award is open to individuals, riders, teams, national federations, clubs, spectators, organisers or firms who have shown a great sense of fair play.

The recipient of the award is determined by the FIM Award and Recognition Committee who this year deemed Spain’s Trial and Enduro Queen - Laia Sanz to be a worthy winner of the same following her unselfish actions during the 2016 Dakar Rally.

Sanz, who holds an incredible thirteen FIM Women’s Trial World Championships and is a five times winner of the FIM Women’s Enduro World Cup has more recently established herself to be a real contender at the Dakar Rally. Laia’s ninth place overall in the motorcycle class in the World’s most famous rally in 2015 was the best ever result to be achieved by a female rider in the long history of the gruelling competition.

During the event in 2016 Sanz came across France’s Pela Renet who was making his debut in the Dakar. The highly capable Husqvarna rider had crashed heavily a few kilometres short of the finish on day four when the riders had covered over four hundred kilometres. Despite her own fatigue and desire to produce her best performance, Laia did not have to think twice as she immediately halted her own passage to attend to the injured rider ahead of the medical crew arriving on the scene.  

Sanz explained the unfolding situation in her own words. "Renet passed me on the special and then I followed him - I was at kilometre 402 when it happened. At first, when I found Renet, I was scared because he was unconscious. He had some pain on his hip and his back, but he was more or less fine.”

"Helping someone is what any rider should do, that's normal and it was important. Though I lost time it was the right thing to do."

Sanz was later given back the time she had lost whilst helping her fellow competitor and went on to finish fifteenth in the motorcycle class of the 2016 Dakar Rally having also had to overcome problems of her own.

Laia’s extraordinary act of kindness and fair play was shared around the World by the various media / news outlets and widely across all forms of social media. This reached an audience way beyond the motorcycle community and in doing so sent a powerful and inspirational message to the masses and especially to the younger generation that true sporting values still exist in motorcycling. 

Marco Domeniconi

Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, 11 Route de suisse, 1295 Mies