Valentino Rossi made an official MotoGP Legend at FIM Awards

Valentino Rossi gets another surprise on the evening of his last MotoGP race.
Valentino Rossi made an official MotoGP Legend at FIM Awards

Valentino Rossi has been inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame as an official MotoGP Legend at the FIM Awards Ceremony.

Although Rossi's place was only a matter of time, he was surprised with the honour - usually announced up to a year in advance of a ceremony - on the evening of his final MotoGP race, in Valencia.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta presented Rossi with the MotoGP Legend trophy on the stage, celebrating his 26 seasons, 9 World Championships, 115 wins and 235 podiums across all classes.

"I always think of this day like a nightmare, because it’s the end of the a long career and I think it would be in Valencia but in the end I enjoyed it a lot. so I have to thank everyone, everyone who has worked with me, the whole paddock, the other riders… it was an unforgettable day and I enjoyed it. It was a long career, and always a pleasure," Rossi said.

Ezpeleta added: "The only thing I can say to Vale is thank you very much. It’s been amazing since [1996] in Malaysia, we saw a guy doing fantastic races but also very special for so many reasons. We started to talk with him and since that time, everything we’ve done together, with everyone who works in MotoGP it’s been amazing.

"First of all Valentino has been an incredible rider, even yesterday, at 42, he was within tenths of Fabio. But also his personality, the situation he’s helped us to create, the Safety Commission, it’s something very special. These are all the words I can say. Grazie, Valentino!"

Rossi joins a long list of greats that have been made MotoGP Legends, including Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Marco Simoncelli, Freddie Spencer, Casey Stoner, John Surtees, Carlo Ubbiali, Alex Crivillé, Franco Uncini, Marco Lucchinelli, Randy Mamola, Kork Ballington, Dani Pedrosa, Stefan Dörflinger, Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez and the late, great Nicky Hayden.

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