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.