Valentino Rossi ended his more than two year victory drought with a win on his home soil.
That it didn’t come in a MotoGP race was of little consequence to the nine-time world champion. Having endured two years of misery on the Ducati Marlboro team, Rossi was happy to not only be competitive, but competitive enough to win.
Driving a Monster Energy-backed Ford Fiesta WRC, Rossi won the Monza Rally Show for the third time, beating not only Yamaha’s recently crowned MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo-he was 10th in his rally debut-but also multi-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner Dindo Capello, who Rossi battled over the course of the three-day event.
Rossi and co-driver Carlo Cassina edged Capello by winning five special stages to Capello’s four. The end result was Rossi and Capello winning by 2.8 sec., adding this win to previous Monza Rally victories in 2006 and ’07.
Rossi’s replacement at Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso, seen in photo above, finished fifth in his Citroen DS3. Lorenzo was tenth at a gap of 2:34 mins.
The last time Rossi won a MotoGP race was when he raced his Fiat Yamaha to a narrow victory over Repsol Honda’s Dovizioso in the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix.