It's not only racing a MotoGP bike that Valentino Rossi will miss after retiring from the sport on Sunday.

First introduced to the grand prix paddock while father Graziano was racing I the late '70s and early '80s, Rossi has gone on to spend 26 of his 42 years in the world championship paddock during his own legendary career.

The creation of the VR46 Riders' Academy to help up-and-coming Italians has also seen Rossi's motorhome become an unofficial meeting point each evening.

"For sure it will be strange to travel without my brother and not share the track or paddock with him," said younger brother Luca Marini. "Not meeting in his motorhome at night to look at practice or just watch another sport like a F1 race or Serie A [football] match will be strange.

"We will lose a key point of the paddock, a reference, because when we VR46 Academy riders want to find a place to see each other, every time we go in the motorhome of Vale.

"Also without asking him because now we know the entry code! So we live there during every free minute we have in the paddock.

"So it will be strange but I'm sure he will follow us a lot and stay in close contact not only with me but also the other Academy riders. When he was at home [with Covid], he was looking at the data, looking at the TV.2

Told of Marini's words, Rossi responded: "I agree with Luca because in these last years we are very close to a lot of riders that are our friends from the Academy. In the evening we stay always together, and it's funny because sometimes we watch the practice, or some other things.

"It's a great moment because the atmosphere that you have during a race weekend is always particular, everybody is different in his character. So to stay together and try to speak about the Saturday or Sunday is a great moment.

"I don’t know, but I want to come to some races next year, I hope I can bring my motorhome! So maybe we can organise also next year, to spend some time together [in the paddock]."

Even when he isn't at the track, Marini expects to see Rossi's 'presence' just by looking into the grandstands, "because I imagine there will be a lot of yellow also in future years."

Rossi agrees: "I think this will continue in the next years, for sure not the same, but having a lot of people around the track with the 46, with the yellow hats. It's a fantastic feeling for me and also great for MotoGP. And I think in the next years it will help the atmosphere around the track.

"Anyway, I will come to some races, we will have our team and we always support our rides from the Academy. It will be different for sure, because I also don’t know what my feeling will be to come to MotoGP without riding, if I will enjoy it or not. I have to try. I will try next year!"

Rossi's VR46 Academy will run a second Moto2 team for Yamaha Master Camp riders as well as a full MotoGP entry for Marini and Marco Bezzecchi (TBC) in 2022.