Monza Rally Show: A VR46 4-wheel masterclass

Valentino Rossi takes his fifth victory at the Italian event at historic Monza

MotoGP™ has wrapped; World RX has boosted to the final flag of 2016; and the smoke has cleared from this year’s drift season. Does that mean we’re taking our foot off the gas, and slowing down for the holidays? Not a chance.

The 37th annual Monza Rally Show threw open its gates this weekend, hosting its trademark end-of-season celebration of horsepower and head-to-head racing on the legendary tarmac of the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, in northern Italy. The yearly show brings together an eclectic mix of drivers and riders, all testing their mettle on a custom rally-stage course; which takes in sections of the modern F1 circuit, as well as the historic bankings of the famous Italian venue.

While for many the event is seen as a sort of end of season party, the casual atmosphere in the paddock quickly turns fierce on track, as the competition for the coveted winning silverware rapidly amps up.

Monza Rally Show is also a firm favorite and end-of-season closer for MotoGP™'s 9-time World Champion Valentino Rossi. The Italian legend delighted his legions of fans by locking down a double victory in the twisting rally stage competition, as well as the headlining Monster Energy Masters Show. Driving an M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta, VR46 switched from two wheels to four in flawless style, beating WRC's Dani Sordo and Endurance racer Marco Bonanomi by a stunning 18.4 second margin.

Not just that, but the result sees Rossi further write his name into the Monza record books, with this being his fifth victory at the event, alongside co-driver Carlo Cassina. He was also joined in the pit box by great friends Davide Brivio and Alessio Salucci who finished 5th and 9th respectively.

Valentino Rossi: “In the last few years, together with Monster Energy, we have really built up the event to something very special. This year we have had great weather, and a lot of people came out to watch and support. Of course to finish the season with a victory is a great feeling. To win the rally and the Master Show at the same time is fantastic. Taking the win in front of the grandstands, with the great atmosphere here in Monza is very special to me. I am so focused for the entire season on racing, so when it comes to the end of November, after Valencia [the final race of MotoGP], I can’t wait to meet the team and drive my rally car.  Of course I always want to be competitive – as a rider or driver, and I want to fight for the podium when I am in the car here at Monza. I am here again also with Uccio and Brivio, and we talk about this event throughout the year about who will win between them. It’s a great way to have the thrill of a race, without the huge pressure I experience in MotoGP. I’m very happy and very proud – thankyou to all my fans and team and everybody – it’s the best way to say ‘Ciao’ for the year.”