MotoGP bid adieu to its greatest ever exponent on Sunday as Valentino Rossi brought the curtains down on his illustrious career with his final race in the premier class at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. Tributes poured in from across the globe for the seven-time MotoGP champion with celebrities from all aspects of life singing praises of the Italian.

25 years on from making his Grand Prix debut, Rossi called time on his career, making his 432nd and final start in Valencia. The 75,000 strong crowd at the circuit paid tribute to arguably the greatest ever racer on two wheels, while every other rider on the grid paid their respects to the departing seven-time MotoGP champion.

Francesco Bagnaia took the final win of the 2021 MotoGP season ahead of fellow Ducati riders Jorge Martin and Jack Miller while 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo finished fifth. The race winner, who is a product of the Valentino Rossi Academy (VR46), dedicated his win to his mentor for being a true inspiration to a number of riders on the track.

Valentino Rossi
'I was shaking': Valentino Rossi JOE KLAMAR/AFP

"This race victory is a present to Valentino," Bagnaia said after the race, as quoted on BBC Sport. "I want to dedicate this race to him and thank him for what he has done for us at the academy."

Rossi, meanwhile, finished a respectable 10th in his final outing, which saw the Italian joke after the race that he can proudly say that he finished among the "10 best riders in the world!". He also admitted that he will find retirement very hard, especially when the 2022 season gets underway next march and he will not be lining up on the grid.

It was not only the MotoGP community that thanked and paid tribute to Rossi. Celebrities from across the globe, which included F1 drivers, Hollywood stars, Italian footballers, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal among others, also shared their messages. The words "inspiration" and "legend" were the most commonly used with even the Swiss tennis great lauding him for his passion to win and race at the top level for over two decades.

Valentino Rossi
All over: Valentino Rossi addresses his retirement press conference on Thursday ERWIN SCHERIAU/APA