Valentino Rossi has missed out on the chance to be labelled World Sportsman of the Year during the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards after losing out to record-breaking sprinter Usain Bolt.

Rossi's ninth MotoGP World Championship title earned him a fifth career nomination alongside athletes Bolt and Kenenisa Bekele, tennis player Roger Federer, cyclist Alberto Contador and footballer Lionel Messi.

However, in a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, Rossi missed out on the ultimate prize to Bolt, who was rewarded for his three gold medals in the 2009 World Athletics Championships.

Despite this, the FIAT Yamaha rider will still be honoured in his native Italy, where the country's Ministry of Freogn Affairs will honour him for his positive representation of Italy around the world.

"The nine times World Champion has sounded the national anthem on 103 occasions in different parts of the world, and has presented the important values of excellence of our country in five continents," read a notification of the event.

"Valentino Rossi has become an icon who represents the marvellous virtues of Italy on a foreign front, making all his compatriots proud to be Italian."