MotoGP to retire Valentino Rossi's number 46
Valentino Rossi has retired from MotoGP – and soon his iconic number 46 will follow him.
The number was associated with Rossi's bike throughout his epic 26-season career, in which he won nine championships across all classes.
Rossi quit the sport at the end of 2021, having celebrated 115 wins and 235 podiums.
Now, at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, the rider's number will also be retired.
The 46 has not been used in the 2022 MotoGP season, having been left vacant by Rossi, but the competition has moved to ensure it will not be taken in future either.
"The number 46 will be retired from use in the MotoGP class at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello," a statement read on Saturday.
"Synonymous with nine-time world champion and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, the number will be signed off in style at the upcoming Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley.
"The retirement ceremony will take place on the main straight on Saturday, just ahead of qualifying.
"Rossi will be in attendance as his legacy is honoured and number retired, having raced the number 46 into the MotoGP Legends Hall of Fame over 26 seasons of success – creating one of the most recognisable calling cards in global sport."