Dani Sordo finished second in the Monza Rally Show at the weekend as MotoGP star Valentino Rossi won the end-of-year spectacular for a fifth time.
The Spaniard won six of the 10 asphalt speed tests at the Italian race circuit in his Hyundai i20 World Rally Car, but lost out to the Italian by 18.4sec in his bid to complete a third victory at the three-day event.
Sordo led after the opening special stage but fell behind Rossi’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC after clipping a cone in the next test and collecting a 5sec penalty.
He lost more time after encountering traffic in the 33km Grand Prix stage on Saturday and slipped to third behind sports car driver Marco Bonanomi in a Citroën DS 3 WRC. However, Sordo regained second by 0.5sec in Sunday’s final test.
The rally, which featured drivers from various motorsport disciplines, included sections of the Formula 1 track and the old banking and Sordo admitted Rossi’s pace in the longer tests made the difference.
“We won six out of the 10 stages but Valentino was very strong and was faster on the longer stages which helped him to win the rally,” said Sordo, who won in 2010 and 2013.
“We struggled a bit with the set-up of the car and on the long stages maybe he had a bit of an advantage because of the tyres.”
Sordo also lost out to Rossi in the Monza Masters Show which followed the rally. After beating Bonanomi in their head-to-head semi-final, Sordo led Rossi in the final until mechanical problems intervened.
“It was heart-breaking to lose the Masters’ Show with one lap to go when we were a couple of seconds ahead of Vale and only 1.5km from the finish. Our turbo broke and we had to settle again for second place,” he added.