Valentino Rossi Wins Record-Breaking 6th Monza Rally Show
MotoGP icon Valentino Rossi simply can’t slow down. The nine-time World Champion once again participated in the Monza Rally Show during MotoGP’s off season, claiming his sixth victory at the 38th edition of the Italian race.
This was Rossi’s record-breaking sixth Monza Rally Show victory, the 39-year-old Italian taking the win in the 2016-spec Ford Fiesta RC WRC after nine stages by 5.7 seconds ahead of Marco Bonanomi.
The victory for Rossi was historic at Monza Rally Show – which dates back to December 1938. Rossi is now the most successful driver in Monza Rally Show history, ahead of five-time winner and endurance racer Rinaldo Capello.
Valentino’s brother Luca Marini – currently racing in the Moto2 World Championship as a VR46 Academy rider – also made his debut at the Monza Rally Show this year. The 20-year old, who piloted a R5 class Ford Fiesta, finished 11th in his class and 26th overall in his first competitive two-to-four wheel switch.
“This was one of the most hard fought Monza Rallies that I have raced at, because there were four cars able to win, and everybody was close right up until the end,” Valentino Rossi says.
“Unfortunately the team made a small mistake with the weight of the car on Friday. We didn’t calculate for the lights on the front of the car. It was a stupid mistake! When I stopped after stage two and they said I was under weight and I got a 10 second penalty – I said it was over.
“But I gave it maximum attack and risked a lot, especially in the second to last stage. It’s a shame to not get the Master’s stage result, but for me the more important, so I’m happy! The Monza Rally Show is always great fun, because it’s a real race where you can drive these types of cars fast – but at the end you can enjoy it too with less pressure at the end of the season.
“All the team is very happy because after this week we start our winter holiday and there’s always a great atmosphere. To enjoy it, you still have to try your maximum, and the challenge is very difficult and the level his very high. Especially in the last few years the event has grown up a lot, and there are real rally drivers here now to have a lot of fun competing against.
“This is our unique team at Monza so it’s something special, and it wouldn’t be the same to do the rally alone. Of course driving with the Brivios and Uccio is very funny; because you can talk a lot about the technical things but at the same time still make a lot of jokes if you’re faster or slower than them! This year I also have my brother Luca because he came to me and said ‘I want to come, I want to come’ so I organized it.
“He’s fast, he’s enjoying it, and I think he’ll keep doing it in the future. We speak a lot, with Davide and Uccio but especially with Luca, to try and share the secrets. It’s his first experience with a rally car and he’s already fast so I’m happy and he’s happy. But the contract is that he can be fast but not as fast as me!”
Valentino Rossi at 2017 Monza Rally Show | Photo Gallery