Will Valentino Rossi finally get his 500cc Honda?

With younger brother Luca Marini now confirmed as joining HRC in place of Marc Marquez next season, perhaps a #46 NSR500 will finally be heading to Tavullia in the near future.
Valentino Rossi, 2001
Valentino Rossi, 2001

Valentino Rossi dominated the 2002 and 2003 seasons as a Repsol Honda rider, before leaving under something of a cloud after choosing a sensational switch to Yamaha for 2004.

It has long annoyed Rossi that he never received a 500cc Honda from 2001 - his first premier-class crown and the last two-stroke championship before the start of the four-stroke ‘MotoGP’ era - as apparently promised by HRC.

Valentino Rossi, Valencia MotoGP, 11 November
Valentino Rossi, Valencia MotoGP, 11 November

"I have [all my] bikes at home, except the Hondas. I have all the Aprilias and all the Yamahas,” Rossi revealed during his final MotoGP appearance at Valencia in 2021 (pictured).

"I spoke with Alberto [Puig] and I asked for, minimum, the 500, also because that 500 is ‘my’ 500.

"It's the bike that Honda was supposed to give to me but for some reason the bike never arrived.

"I'm happy if Honda changes their mind and give me that one.

"For sure, the bike will be well looked after and have a good place in my house!"

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