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“That 500 Is My 500”: Rossi Wants The MotoGP NSR500 Honda Never Sent

With an affluent racing career behind him and new sights set on his VR46 team’s debut for MotoGP, Valentino Rossi continues to be a legend in the racing industry.

Recently, we learned that the Italian racer collects bikes that he has ridden for MotoGP – and there’s one, in particular, that’s coming with a bit of drama.

According to a report from SuperBike Planet, Honda’s got a bike in their museum that was Rossi’s first MotoGP title-winning 500cc bike from 2001. That NSR500 was purportedly brought out for the racing legend to sit on at his career-ending GP at Valencia a few weeks back, ‘rekindling’ his desire to have it in his collection.

Valentino Rossi with the NSR500 - a bike that he raced back when he was a part of the Honda team in 2001

“I speak with Alberto, and I asked for – minimum – the 500, also because that 500 is my 500,” Rossi said in a statement on AutoSport.

“It’s the bike that Honda was supposed to give to me, and I was ready to take, I had already the place at home [for it]…but for some reason, the bike never arrived. I’m happy if Honda change the idea and gave me that one.”

“For sure, the bike will stay well, at a good temperature, and have a good place at my house.”

Valentino Rossi with the NSR500 - a bike that he raced back when he was a part of the Honda team in 2001

A reminder to the good readers: Rossi’s history with Honda isn’t the cleanest portfolio on the track.  Between Rossi’s leaving for Yamaha when Honda wanted the Italian to re-sign with HRC, and the bit of chaos between Rossi and Marc Marquez[where] Honda was on the verge of issuing ‘proof’ that Rossi had kicked Marquez’s Honda after the pair collided on-track in 2015 (but Honda was instructed by Dorna not to release the video footage)”, it’s safe to say that Rossi’s request for the bike might require more than a ‘pretty please.’

Valentino Rossi with the NSR500 - a bike that he raced back when he was a part of the Honda team in 2001

Alberto Puig, team boss for Honda, responded with the following when asked if Honda would consider Rossi’s request for the NSR500:

“Well, it’s a tricky story…soI cannot answer, but this bike is also very important for us because we have it in a museum. Honda is very proud of the titles that we got, and also with the titles that Valentino got for us together…so, I’m sure we want to have this as a very important trophy in our house to show to our fans that we were capable of winning that title with that bike.”

Valentino Rossi with the NSR500 - a bike that he raced back when he was a part of the Honda team in 2001

If we’re placing bets, my $5 is on Honda keeping the bike – though it would be amazing if Rossi could add the machine to his collection (especially given his collection is so extensive already – check out some of his collection via a Youtube vid here).

We’ll keep you posted on any other updates as they come down from the pipeline; in the meantime, be sure to check out other related news from our archives, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

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