MotoGP On 4-Wheels
The Monza Rally Show, which began in 1978, is the classic final race of the season at the Italian circuit and it brings out a number of top motorcycle riders. Nine-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi had his first four-wheel experience in 1997 at the Monza Rally as part of the Renault Megane Husky Team.
This year, there were four MotoGP riders starting the race event. Some come for fun, while others are looking for a fantastic result.
Former MotoGP 250cc Champion Marco Simoncelli finished in seventh place overall last year. He was hoping to adapt his two-wheel talents to four wheels and compete with the best drivers, aiming to beat them, just as did Valentino Rossi did at multiple Rally of Monza events.
“The car this year, I have yet to know well, testing it in the race,” Simoncelli explains, “but I’m already stoked because this is my fourth year at the Rally of Monza and I know for sure I’ll enjoy, perhaps hoping to finish better than I did last year–that is the first three, or even in the top five may be fine.”
Marco Melandri is also participating, saying, “I know the rally in general and then also here in Monza with a car is the first time. The Lotus is also unusual for a car rally, and then do not try the result, I am here for fun not to win. The tires are made with varying variables, they can move with time and with the incidents, plus I’ve never even gone on in a race car with a side that speaks to me.”
Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias is a rally virgin, but eager to give it a go. “I’ve never done a rally,” Elias says, “but it is a really good opportunity for me to be here.”
Another top-finishing Moto2 rider, Andrea Iannone also has no experience in this type of racing, but is ready to go. “(This is my) first time with the rallies, but I’m glad to be here and have fun,” Iannone says.
Rossi has declared that this year was skipped only for shoulder surgery and wants to be back at all costs for the next edition, which awaits him, as always.
Unfortunately for two-wheel fans, after years of success, with Rossi admired and feared even by the specialists of the four wheels every time he boarded a car rally, the motorcyclists were not to dominate the charts in Monza Rally Show 2010 edition.
Simoncelli was the best placed of the troops coming from MotoGP, both for experience and for technical equipment. Unfortunately, his Ford Focus suffered a technical failure with the clutch on Saturday, and the driver of the Honda MotoGP had to say goodbye to his dream of being on the podium.
Andrea Iannone finished 52nd overall on the Peugeot 207, with the boast that it preceded two of the colleagues of the two-wheels. Melandri is 57th, but fourth in his class (GT) and therefore quite satisfied with how he conducted the difficult Lotus, shared with Alberto Vergani.
Toni Elias, who was also in the S2000 class, could not share some of the great success of compatriot Dani Sordo (winner of both the Rally and the Masters’ Show on board the C4 WRC). Elias came in 70th place on the Abarth G. Punto S2000.
The Monza Rally Show 2010 saw the domination of the Citroen C4 WRC, which only a failure of the third car did not complete the podium.
1. Sordo-Vallejo, Citreoen C4 WRC in 1:19’29″5
2. Capello-Pirollo, Citroen C4 WRC – 5″1
3. Longhi-Cassol, Ford Focus WRC – 1’46″8
4. D’Aste-D’Aste, Lotux Exige GT – 3’01″8
5. Giaconia-Torri, Ford Focus WRC – 3’41″9
6. Andreucci-Andreussi, Peugeot 207 Super2000 – 3’55″8
7. Musti-Biglieri, Peugeot 307 WRC – 4’45″7
8. Uzzeni-Nibbio, Subaru impreza WRC – 5’15″1
9. Araujo-Rovagnati, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4 – 5’26″1
10. Paccagnella-Bianco, Citroen Xsara WRC – 5’27″2