FIM Speedway Grand Prix top gun Artem Laguta admits it was a dream come true to stand alongside the sport’s world champions at the FIM Awards in Monaco on Saturday night.

Laguta was recognised for his epic SGP title triumph at Sporting Monte-Carlo, where all the FIM’s world champions for 2020 and 2021 were honoured.

He was joined by title rival Bartosz Zmarzlik, who received his 2020 prize after last year’s ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic.

While the Pole visited the iconic motorsport nation in 2019 when he won his first title, Laguta made his first trip to the FIM Awards this weekend.

The Motorcycling Federation of Russia’s first-ever speedway world champion admits it was a special feeling to celebrate his historic year among a galaxy of motorcycling stars.

He said: “I am thrilled. When I was a kid and I started racing motorbikes, I wanted to be the world champion. To be here in Monaco is something special.

“I can go on holiday with my family wherever I want, but when you get an invitation to be here because you are world champion, it is something special.

“Monaco is very famous for all the motorsport riders and drivers – they all dream about this place. So being here makes me happy.

“It’s a dream come true to stand next to all these world champions and know I am one of them.

“That gives me the desire to come to the FIM Awards more often – not just the once. It makes me smile when I know I am one of these champions.”

Zmarzlik loved his second visit to Monaco in a year he came within three points of being crowned a triple world champion.

He said: “This is my second time in this country, which is beautiful for me. I am here with my mother and father as a gift for them. We have done a lot of work together over this season as a family. It’s only three days, but it’s three days in a beautiful place. It’s so nice here.”

The evening saw four-time SGP world champion Greg Hancock officially named an FIM legend, before he presented awards to the FIM’s young champions.

Paul Bellamy of BSI Speedway was also named a FIM promoter legend after spearheading the SGP series for nearly two decades.

FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship winners Jaimon Lidsey and Jakub Miskowiak were both in Monaco to collect their medals for 2020 and 2021 respectively, along with FIM Youth world champion Oskar Paluch of Poland.

FIM Speedway of Nations winners MFR (2020) and Great Britain (2021) were also celebrated, along with back-to-back FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship winners Poland.