The ceremony was held on the main straight of the Italian Grand Prix venue, where Rossi had thrilled his home fans with seven straight wins from 2002-2008.

Crowd numbers this weekend look well below the attendance for the Rossi years, but many of those present assembled in the main grandstand at lunchtime to see Rossi's 46 retired by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and FIM president Jorge Viegas.

Paddock members also watched on from pit lane.

"It's a mixed feeling," said Rossi. "From the one side it's very sad that I've finished and the 46 is retired.

"On the other side, it's a great feeling because it was a long story, an unforgettable career, full of great moments. So I'm very proud and today was good here at Mugello, a special place, our home grand prix.

"It's also good because I always raced with the 46, so the 46 means a lot to me and it was the number of Graziano, my father.

"I'm happy because the 46 is a sign, not just a number."

The Doctor won nine championships, 115 grands prix and became the world’s most famous motorcycle racer during an illustrious 26-year career.

After leaving MotoGP at the end of last season, Rossi was immediately made an Official MotoGP Legend while his #46 now joins the likes of #27 (Casey Stoner), #69 (Nicky Hayden) and #34 (Kevin Schwantz) in being banned from future use in the premier-class.

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