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Rossi comes home twelfth in Rally GB event

Rossi comes home twelfth in Rally GB event

One-off WRC appearance ends in success for MotoGP title holder in Wales.

MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi´s weekend of WRC action ended as a resounding success for the Italian, as he claimed a creditable twelfth position after a gruelling three days of the Rally GB.

Driving a Stobart-backed Ford Focus for the event, Rossi and co-driver Carlos Cassina moved up three places from fifteenth on Sunday after a thrilling final two stages, concluding his progression up the field. He had leapt from 45th (at the end of the first stage) to 24th by the end of day one, and continued to pick up speed over the course of the remaining two days. His twelfth place not only banished demons of his first Rally GB appearance –which he was unable to complete after an early crash- but was also just one position off his 2006 finish in the New Zealand round of the WRC series.

`I´m very happy today, firstly to finish the rally and secondly to set some very good times on the four stages today,´ said Rossi after the event´s conclusion, upon which he received the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally award for his efforts.

`The car was fantastic and I was finding it easy to drive when we got a precise setting. My approach here was to take the race step-by-step and try not to make any mistakes and this worked well. I think this rally was very difficult and finishing it makes me very happy indeed. The Focus was really nice to drive and it´s been fantastic working with the Stobart team.´

Big mistakes there weren´t, but the six-time MotoGP titlist did have an edge-of-seat moment in the icy conditions on Saturday. Taking on the Crychan stage of the rally, Rossi overshot a corner and smashed up the front of his car, cracking the windscreen and losing the front bumper.

In placing twelfth, Rossi placed higher than six regular WRC riders, and was 13´10.4 behind Citroen´s Rally GB winner Sebastien Loeb.

MotoGP, 2008, Valentino Rossi

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