Rossi: 'Don't retire the number 46'

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi has asked the Moto GP organisers not to retire the number 46 from the sport. Rossi has become synonymous with the number, wearing it even before his premier-class debut back in 2000.

ValentinoRossi

Valentino Rossi is synonymous with the 46 logo.

Valentino Rossi says he does not want Moto GP organisers to retire the number 46 after he leaves the sport. Rossi has become synonymous with the number, wearing it even before his premier-class debut back in 2000.

The Italian - a winner of nine world titles - always rejected the number one mantle, electing to build a brand around 46. 

However, Rossi insists he does not want the number retired when his days in Moto GP are finally up, following the decision to retire the late Marco Simoncelli's number 58 on Thursday. "About my number [46], I was thinking... my first impression is that I don't like that the 46 is cancelled," Rossi said.

"I prefer that it remains and if some other rider wants to take that number they can."

Rossi also spoke about his life after Moto GP, revealing the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race is enticing. The 37-year-old won the famous race back in 2001 alongside Colin Edwards, and could make a return after 2018 when his deal with Moto GP outfit Movistar Yamaha expires.

"I like a lot that race, I love to make [it] also with Yamaha. For me, can be," Rossi said. 

"But the problem is not during the Moto GP season, maybe when I stop. I'm too old and we don't have enough time to make the 8 Hours, because it's the only week or 10 days of holiday we have between the first part and the second part [of the year]. So if you spend that week in Suzuka, it's a big stress physically and mentally. I think you can pay in the second half.

"Maybe in future when I stop, I want to try with Yamaha. It's a great race."