Reigning MotoGP world champion Joan Mir has officially confirmed that he will continue to race with the #36 on his Suzuki GSX-RR this season and not use the #1 plate.

"The number will be the same as always, the loyal one, #36!" Mir explained. "I think it would have been really awesome to use the #1, a unique experience and a dream.

"But I believe that 36 is the number with which I've worked hard and it has taken me to where I am now, winning two world championships [MotoGP and Moto3].

"…this doesn't mean if I happens again, I won't chose #1. But for now, it's the #36. The number that represents hard work and suits me best."

With the likes of Marc Marquez [93) and Valentino Rossi (46) always keeping their usual race numbers during a title defence, the #1 was last seen in MotoGP with Casey Stoner at Repsol Honda in 2012.

It hasn't been on a Suzuki since Kenny Roberts Jr in 2001.

Despite the marketing benefits for the manufacturer and sponsors in having the #1, speaking earlier this week Suzuki MotoGP project manager Shinichi Sahara insisted he wouldn't mind which number Mir chose.

"I was happy to see the #1 plate in Valencia last year [when Mir won the title]. For me that's enough. But if Joan choses the #1 plate this year, of course I'm also happy," Sahara said.

"It's not easy, but we will try to have another #1 plate this year, so whatever number we have during the season doesn't matter to me."

No rider in the MotoGP era has successfully defended a title while using the #1 plate, something that last happened in the premier-class with Mick Doohan in 1998.