The 30,000 or so fans that piled into Monza last Sunday sure got the spectacle they came for. The 90th edition of the Monza Rally Show saw the legend that is Valentino Rossi claim his third title at the fabled Milanese circuit and even score a double as he walked away with not only the Stage Rally win but took the top step of the Master Show like a boss.
“We come to win,” were ‘The Doctor’s’ first words to the press ahead of the weekend. He delivered, and in some style: with multiple Le Mans winner Dindo Capello breathing down his neck, Rossi had huge competition all weekend and in fact secured a margin of victory in the Stage Rally by a tight 2.8 seconds, after nine outings around the awesome Autodrome di Monza. The pair traded stage wins on Sunday morning and it was ultimately a further 54.4 seconds back to Piero Longhi in third.
Run on the start-finish straight and in honour of the late Marco Simoncelli, the head-to-head format of the Master Show saw Rossi set fastest times in his heats. Picking his way to the final, he came up against fellow MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso, who couldn’t find quite enough to stay with him.
The final run saw Team VR|46 Racing’s Rossi square up against Capello one more time but over the three-lap run he blazed to the win by over 8.5 seconds. Meanwhile, Dovizioso claimed the third spot on the box.
Dovizioso will no doubt fancy another crack at four-wheel racing thanks to a super solid performance throughout, scoring fifth place in the Stage Rally as well as his Master podium.