Monza Rally Show Italian iReport
As usual, at the end of the MotoGP World Championship some of its protagonists traveled here to Monza to participate in the traditional year-end event of the temple of speed – the Monza Rally Show.
The 2011 edition of the Monza Rally Show saw the return of nine-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, among other MotoGP greats, including Andrea Dovizioso, Andrea Iannone and Claudio Conti.
Despite the well-matched teams, in terms of the race outcome there was only one MotoGP pilot to truly shine – the Italian Rossi. And this is no surprise, considering his strong experience with rally cars (do not forget his past triumphs here at Monza, a track where he began the four-wheel racing experience).
Valentino Rossi – Close to Success
After debuting with Ducati during the 2011 MotoGP season without many positive results, Rossi took a podium at Monza driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC. But it didn’t stop there; even in the Sunday Master Show (a separated car to race), Rossi got the same result, finishing second behind eight-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb, who drove a Citroen DS3.
Rossi from Pesaro is a very strong rally-car driver, and like every year at Monza performed positively, for all three days he was the only one to seriously worry Loeb, evening beating the Frenchman in a few occasions.
Unfortunately, although Rossi committed hardly any errors, when the race was complete 24 seconds separated him from the winning Citroen at the end.
But this was a result that over the three days still proved very fair for the MotoGP pilot, considering Loeb’s record in Rally racing. Even in the spectacular final on Sunday afternoon, carried out on the pit straight, Rossi battled with Loeb until the absolute last minute
Off the track, Rossi was a true sport and enjoyed the crowd as he remembered his friend Marco Simoncelli, who passed at Sepang MotoGP. Rossi even dedicated the Master Show to his fellow Italian (Simocelli was usually among the best drivers coming here from the MotoGP).
After the Rally car talk was over, Rossi commented on his future. He said that he is not thinking about driving rally cars anytime soon, regardless of what many people suppose (many think it’ll be in 2013 season).
Rossi confirmed he wants to win on the Ducati in MotoGP, and if Ducati was ever forced to abandon the series as Suzuki did, Rossi would compete on a CRT (Claiming Rules Team) bike.
Moto2’s Iannone Dissatisfied
Despite the relaxed atmosphere of the festival, Moto2 rider Andrea Iannone was very focused towards the end results, working endlessly in his garage with his friend Paolo Beltramo. Unfortunately for him the Peugeot 207 proved to be a machine hard to learn. He finished with the last of the Monza troops – 70th.
Dovizioso Thinks Yamaha…and Vice Versa
Friendly as always, Andrea Dovizioso had competed in a Peugeot 207 car in the Monza Rally Show. And like Iannone, Dovi found it difficult learning to race on four wheels rather than two.
Contrary to what you may think, Andrea told us he was very excited by the sensations that a rally car can give, even without having knowledge of where the gap that separated him from the category specialists throughout the race. The newly-signed Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider finished in 54th place overall.
Speaking of 2012 MotoGP, the former Repsol Honda rider told us he found himself surprised by the new bike, the Yamaha M1, which has on reserve not only all the strengths that Dovi expected, but also some unexpected limits.
Just to work on the development of the Yamaha, the Japan manufacturer seems to have paid great attention to the Italian rider’s input with important technical objectives designed to maximize the experience that only Dovi can present. And although he finished strongly in 2011 MotoGP aboard the Repsol Honda RC212V (third overall behind Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and 2011 Champion Casey Stoner), he is in search of much redemption for 2012.
Other MotoGP Personalities
Seventh place finish for the Brivio brothers, Rossi’s friends Davide and “Uccio.” Both were on the team with the VR46 Ducati rider.
MotoGP commentator Guido Meda finished 51st with a Fiat G. Punto, and Claudio Corti 60th with a Renault Clio. Rossi’s father Graziano also drove a Corvette Z6 on the track.