Valentino Rossi is back on the podium. Not a MotoGP podium, mind, but for a rally car race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy. (Post updated with video.)
Driving a Ford Fiesta RS with co-driver Carlo Cassina, Rossi won two of nine stages and finished second overall to eight-time World Rally Car Champion Sebastien Loeb at the 2011 Monza Rally Show. Losing to Loeb, the world’s most dominant rally driver is no shame, and Rossi beat 95 other competitors including 21 others in the WRC class. The Monza several former World Rally Champions, European Rally Champions, and 24 Hours of Le Mans winners.
Rossi has tasted victory at the Monza Rally Show before. The nine-time Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion won at Monza in 2006 and 2007.
The 2011 Monza Rally Show featured several other names who should be familiar to motorcycle race fans. Former Repsol Honda racer and now Tech 3 Yamaha pilot Andrea Dovizioso finished 54th overall. Rossi’s manager Davide Brivio finished 7th overall while Rossi’s close friend and right-hand man Alessio “Uccio” Salucci finished 31st.
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