Sunday at Laguna Seca saw reigning six time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi presented with a proclamation on behalf of Monterey County, declaring 5th July 'Valentino Rossi Day' from now on.

The Mayor of Monterey County, Chuck Dalla Sala, came to the circuit to present the Italian with the honour.

At the same time Ken Lofink, president of SCRAMP (Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula) awarded Rossi the 'key' to the circuit.

"I want to thank the people of Monterey and the Laguna Seca track for these great honours!" said the 2008 US Grand Prix winner. "I love racing here and I have enjoyed it ever since we first came in 2005 so I am very proud to have this day named after me. I hope I can put up a good performance this afternoon to thank everyone for this."

Rossi will start second on the grid behind Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who is planning to race this afternoon despite injuries sustained in his huge Saturday accident.