MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has claimed a record-tying fifth victory in the Monza Rally Show and with this win, he signed off his 2016 racing activities. He won the race from World Rally regular and factory Hyundai driver Dani Sordo by 20 seconds after the ten-stage.
Rossi was driving an M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta with Carlo Cassina as his co-driver. Endurance racer Marco Bonanomi finished third and was half-a-second behind Sordo.
The Italian wrapped a double victory by winning the Monster Energy Masters Show also at the event. Current Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio finished fifth with Rossi's right hand and close friend Alessio ‘Uccio' Salucci in ninth.
"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," Rossi said.
He added, "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 on the entire season on racing, so when it comes to the end of November, after Valencia, 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 - thank-you to all my fans and team and everybody - it's the best way to say 'Ciao' for the year."
Rossi's last victories at Monza Rally came in 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2015. Rossi will get back on his beloved Yamaha M1 when the winter testing ban ends with the official Sepang test scheduled in late January.