Valentino Rossi’s famous #46 is about to retire from MotoGP

The nine-time world champion made his bright yellow #46 plate a motorsport icon throughout his 26-season career in grand prix racing.

Rossi has won nine world titles in all three classes of the MotoGP world championship, including seven in the top tier, while registering 115 GP race wins in total.

The Italian legend retired from MotoGP at the end of the 2021 season and is now racing full-time in GT World Challenge Europe with the WRT Audi.

Despite never expressing a desire to retire his number when he stopped racing and encouraged its use by others, MotoGP announced that Rossi would attend a ceremony at Mugello within two weeks to retire the number.

A statement from MotoGP reads: “The number 46 will be discontinued from use in the MotoGP class at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.

“Synonymous with nine-time world champion and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, the number will be signed in style at the upcoming Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley.

“The retirement ceremony will take place on the main straight on Saturday, prior to qualification.

“Rossi will attend because his legacy has been honored and the number has retired, riding at number 46 in the MotoGP Legends Hall of Fame for 26 seasons of success – creating one of the most recognizable calling cards in the global sport.”

Valentino Rossi fans

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

Retirement of race numbers is something that is usually reserved for riders who die during competition.

Over the years, MotoGP has retired to #69 by Nicky Hayden, #48 by Shoya Tomizawa and #58 by Marco Simoncelli, among others.

The first rider to retire his number was 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz, along with the famous American #34 who retired in honor of his career in his retirement.

Prior to his retirement last season, Rossi was officially inducted into the MotoGP hall of fame.

In Jerez two weeks ago at the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, former Yamaha teammate and three -time world champion Jorge Lorenzo was also inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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