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Pictures of day 1 at Monza Rally Show 2018 with Valentino Rossi

Rossi: Flat Out For The Win At Monza Rally Show

Dec 102018

Sporting icons don’t come much bigger than Valentino Rossi. 2018 saw the Italian legend cap his 23rd year of motorcycle Grand Prix racing; and what’s more VR46 is as fast now as when he threw his leg over a 125cc Aprilia in 1996. On two wheels and four.

For an athlete on the verge of turning 40 years old, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he would be taking his foot off the gas too. Not a chance. After claiming 3rd place in the 2018 MotoGP championship following the last race in Valencia in early November, Rossi set his sights on the final challenge of the year.

The Monza Rally Show marks something of an annual end of year homecoming for VR46 - and one where he trades his familiar Yamaha YZR-M1 motorcycle for a full blown World Rally specification race car. Naturally for an athlete of Rossi’s prodigious talent, success wasn’t far away.

Sweeping to victory in all nine stages, Rossi took home his seventh outright win at the event, moving him two wins clear of former Le Mans 24 Hours victor Rinaldo Capello at the top of the all-time Monza Rally Show winner’s list.

“I’ve enjoyed this year’s Monza Rally Show very much - we had the chance to drive the WRC Plus which was absolutely fantastic,” explained Rossi. “I’m a great fan of rally, and being able to drive this car at the limit is great fun! We’ve had good pace all weekend, and put in good times - I actually think I could have gone faster.


“I liked the stage changes this year too - the jumps were great. It’s a shame we just did two Grand Prix instead of the usual three which we have done in previous years. For me the Grand Prix is the heart of the Monza Rally Show - so I hope next year the organisers bring it back to three. But anyway the fans and the atmosphere is always very very special here at Monza and I’m so happy to be able to win this year. I love coming here to drive; it’s very special for sure.


“Now December is generally a holiday and the Monza Rally Show marks my last race of the season. I have about three weeks of holiday and then I very much look forward to re-focusing on motorcycle racing for testing and racing in 2019…”