The nine-time grand prix world champion retired from MotoGP at the end of last season, bringing to a close a 432 GP career spanning 26 campaigns.
During his tenure, Rossi won championships with Aprilia in the 125cc and 250cc classes, Honda two-stroke 500cc and four-stroke MotoGP machinery, and Yamahas in MotoGP.
During the Valencia finale a special display of all of Rossi’s title-winning bikes was staged in the paddock for him, with Rossi having most of them in his personal collection at home.
The only bikes missing from Rossi’s collection are the Honda NSR500 he won his first title on in 2001 and the RC211Vs he won the 2002 and 2003 championships on.
The relationship between Rossi and Honda soured in 2003 as he felt his contribution to HRC’s success was not being given enough credit, with the Italian signing for Yamaha for 2004.
Speaking in Valencia, Rossi says he was due to get the 2001 500cc bike from Honda years ago but it never arrived and hopes HRC will change its mind one day.
“I speak with Alberto and I asked for – minimum – the 500, also because that 500 is my 500,” Rossi said.
“It’s the bike that Honda was supposed to give to me and I was ready to take, I had already the place at home [for it].
“But for some reason the bike never arrived. I’m happy if Honda change the idea and gave me that one.
“For sure, the bike will stay well, at a good temperature and have a good place at my house.”
Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Alberto Puig, Repsol Honda Team Team Principal, 9 time world Champion bikes
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
When asked if Honda would consider Rossi’s request, Puig responded: “Well, it’s a tricky story.
“So, I cannot answer, but this bike is also very important for us because we have it in a museum.
“Honda is very proud of the titles that we got, and also with the titles that Valentino got for us together.
“So, I’m sure we want to have this as a very important trophy in our house to show to our fans that we were capable of winning that title with that bike.”