ISLE OF MAN – Spanish TT racer Antonio Maeso, who was injured in the 2013 Superbike TT in an accident at the Black Hut, has been given Spain’s ‘penguin of the year’ award for being ‘an example of bravery and spirit.’
He picked up the award, sponsored by Motociclismo magazine, at the 33rd edition of the annual “Pingüinos de oro” (Golden Penguins) – a classic bike event, which took place last Sunday at Puente Duero near Valladolid, in Spain.
The trophy, which has previously only been awarded to world champions, has a huge profile within Spain’s motorcycling community. Maeso had previously been awarded the ‘penguin of honour’ for his 2013 TT races campaign.
Other winners this year included Alex Criville, Spain’s first 500cc world champion, who was awarded with the ‘Legend’ Golden Penguin and Maverick Vinales and Carlos Checa, Spain’s only world Superbike champion to date, who both won Golden Penguins.
“It’s been a tough battle. I’ve been doing three hours of physio a day since September and I’m progressing quite well,” said Maeso. “I’ve been told that I’ll need at least six more months of recovery following the same program before I can even consider getting back on a bike so I definitely won’t be able to make this year’s TT.”