Valentino Rossi won his seventh Monza Rally over the weekend.
It was also his fourth victory in a row.
Rossi has proclaimed his love for rally racing since 2005.
Valentino Rossi has at last won a race in 2018 in the Monza Rally, but behind the wheels of a rally car.
He secured his seventh Monza Rally win, the fourth in a row, by beating Teemu Suninen by 1 minute 27 seconds. Rossi and his navigator/co-driver Carla Cassina won eight of the nine asphalt stages. They tied Finnish rally star Suninen for the win of the ninth stage.
Rossi didn’t win the final head-to-head “Master Show” race, however. He was beaten by compatriot and nine-time Grand Prix motocross world champion Antonio “Tony” Cairoli but a mere 0.59s.
The top four drivers of the Monza Rally drove the Ford Fiesta WRC Plus, while Cairoli was the top non-Ford finisher in fifth overall in his Hyundai I20. The Top 5 finishing order was Rossi, Suninen, Roberto Brivio (brother of Ecstar Suzuki MotoGP team boss Davide Brivio), Alessio Salucci and Cairoli.
The Italian suffered through the 2018 MotoGP without a win, so this victory must’ve been something sweet for him.
Rossi’s first foray into rally racing was in 2002 at the WRC Rally Great Britain in 2005, driving a Peugeot 206 WRC but he crashed out in the second stage.
His World Racing Championship (WRC) idol, the late Colin McRae taught him the basics of rally car control afterwards. Rossi went on to race against McRae at the 2005 Monza Rally Show. He who drove a Subaru Impreza WRC and beat McRae who drove a Skoda Fabia WRC.
Rossi also tested a Ferrari Formula 1 car in 2006 at Valencia. He eventually finished 0.5s behind Michael Schumacher on the third day. However, Rossi announced that he will continue with MotoGP. Schumacher was disappointed but supported Rossi’s decision.