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Pictures from Monza Rally Show sunday - Milagro
NEWS

2016 #MonzaRallyShow: Rossi’s masterclass

Dec 042016

MotoGP has wrapped; World RX has boosted to the final flag of 2016; and the smoke has cleared from this year’s drift season. Does that mean we’re taking our foot off the gas, and slowing down for the holidays? Not a chance.

The 37th annual Monza Rally Show threw open its gates this weekend, hosting its trademark end-of-season celebration of horsepower and head-to-head racing on the legendary blacktop of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. The yearly show brings together an eclectic mix of drivers and riders, all testing their mettle on a custom rally-stage course; which takes in sections of the modern F1 circuit, as well as the historic bankings of the famous Italian venue.

Monza Rally Show is also the firm favorite, and end-of-season closer for MotoGP GOAT Valentino Rossi. The nine-time World Champion delighted his legions of fans by locking down a double victory in the twisting rally stage competition, as well as the headlining Monster Energy Masters Show. Driving an M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta Rally car, VR46 switched up from two wheels to four in flawless style, beating WRC hotshoe Daniel Sordo and Endurance racer Marco Bonanomi by a stunning 18.4 second margin.

 

Not just that, but the result sees Rossi further write his name into the Monza record books, with this being his fifth victory at the event, alongside co-driver Carlo Cassina. He was also joined in the pit box by great friends Davide Brivio and Alessio Salucci who finished 5th and 9th respectively.

 

If that wasn’t enough for the fans, drift racer Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni and US-based off-road heavy hitter Casey Currie brought the noise with edge of the seat V8 powered demos. Currie in particular shipped his custom-built 600bhp Pro Lite Stadium truck over to Italy, especially from the west coast of the USA, to shred the tread on the whopping 32-inch truck tyres.

 

Check out the inside line on the super-special Monza weekender below, and also peep the selection of exclusive imagery. Full results are available, here. and don’t forget to also head over to the Monster Energy Facebook page, to watch our video wrap up of 2016 #MonzaRallyShow.

 

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Valentino Rossi:

“In the last years, together with Monster Energy, we have really built up the event to something very special. This year we have had great weather, and a lot of people came out to watch and support. Of course to finish the season with a victory is a great feeling. To win the rally and the Master Show at the same time is fantastic. Taking the win in front of the grandstands, with the great atmosphere here in Monza is very special to me. I am so focused for the entire season on racing, so when it comes to the end of November, after Valencia [the final race of MotoGP], I can’t wait to meet the team and drive my rally car. Of course I always want to be competitive – as a rider or driver, and I want to fight for the podium when I am in the car here at Monza. I am here again also with Uccio and Brivio, and we talk about this event throughout the year about who will win between them. It’s a great way to have the thrill of a race, without the huge pressure I experience in MotoGP. I’m very happy and very proud – thankyou to all my fans and team and everybody – it’s the best way to say ‘Ciao’ for the year.”

Baggsy:

“This is my third year at Monza Rally, and I love the level of professionalism that this event has, and how involved the fans are here. What’s really cool is that we can come here with a drift car, and put on a show that people are not used to seeing, and they get really hyped about it. I guess if I’m honest a lot of the fans probably don’t fully understand what I’m doing straight away, but to me it’s helping promote drifting and also grow interest in drift within the rally community. Being able to drive flat out around Monza in my car is just awesome. It’s not just about the six corners that I’m allowed to drift, it’s about all the other stuff as well – the famous banking, the chicanes. Going out into the wood sections and seeing the fans having parties and BBQs. Then we come past and its all whistles, flags, and people hanging off trees and waving; it’s so much fun to go round and see all of that while I’m driving. And you know, it’s Monza! The place is very special and has a lot of history. For me personally it’s awesome to be able to say that I’ve driven around the track in my own competition car. I get to watch Formula1 on TV and then am able to say; ‘I’ve driven round there!’ It’s pretty big! After three years, Monza also gets to feel a little bit like home. We really understand the format now and can help put on the best possible show while making sure that we don’t disrupt the rally too much. It’s the last event of the year for my team and I too, and it’s the most fun. We bring out all the members of the team, and we have a blast.”

Casey Currie:

“I’ve been lucky enough to have seen a lot and done a lot in my racing career so far, but to come to a place like Monza and do this is absolutely amazing. Believe it or not, I’ve actually never been to Europe before, let alone Italy – so everything is new this weekend! The fans here have been amazing; the passion they have, and how into it they are is so good to see. They’ve been out watching in the cold, and the nighttime, hanging out in the paddock and wanting to see the cars and drivers; and to me that shows a lot. You know, back home in the States, we do so much great racing, that when it gets cold, and at nighttime, generally people go home. You don’t see that here. Everyone stays to the very end, waiting to see the cars come back. The truck that I’ve brought here is an off-road race truck, and it’s made for competing in a stadium type atmosphere. It’s like motocross, but with trucks! We race with about 30 vehicles on track at a time, door to door, with jumps at a 100 feet. It’s all on dirt, which has been watered down, so there’s a lot of mud. We have no windows, 600bhp, and the trucks are made to bang doors and create total ruckus. It’s totally different to the style of circuit racing here in Europe, where the aim is to be the fastest and most consistent. On the tracks at home we don’t get to really go 30 or 40 feet without letting off the gas, so to be able to hold the gas wide open for such a long time down the straight-always, and also drive on the bankings is unreal. This weekend has been all about putting on the best show I can for the fans, and it’s definitely been an experience I will never forget!”

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