In yet another testament to his greatness, Valentino Rossi has won at the 2017 Monza Rally Show. The Italian MotoGP star piloted his Ford Fiesta RC WRC rally car to a record-breaking sixth win in the 38th edition of the Monza Rally Show. This makes Valentino Rossi the most successful driver in the history of the rally which dates back to 1938 in Italy.
Vale was certainly a favorite for the win, having done so in 2006, 2007, 2012, 2015, and 2016. However, it wouldn’t be easy after being given a 10-second penalty for the car being underweight after stage two.
“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 underweight and I got a 10-second penalty – I said it was over,” explained Valentino.
This would lend his closest competitor, Marco Bonanomi driving a Citroen DS3, a 2.7-second lead. In the final stage however, Bonanomi would suffer two off-track excursions causing him to drop to a third-place finish overall.
“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,” says Valentino Rossi.
“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!” exclaimed Rossi.
While the Doctor has many friends racing at the event including life-long friend, Uccio, for 2017, his brother Luca Marini would join him for the 2017 Monza Rally Show.
“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,” said Valentino.
Luca seemed to have enjoyed his experience: “The most important result is that I had a lot of fun this weekend! The car is incredible and was very very fast and challenging to drive. Also, my times weren’t so bad. On Friday I think I was a little bit too excited and I lost some time by making small mistakes, but after that things settled down for me. I finished 11th in my class and 26th overall, which I am very happy about.”
Of course, while the MotoGP legend is always one to include his friends and family in competitive events, we hope Luca read the fine print, “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,” joked Rossi.
Congratulations to Valentino Rossi and his co-driver Carlo Cassina for the victory and to all of the other competitors in the 2017 Monza Rally Show.