Saturday | 24 Oct 2020

Rossi eyes Rally Monza outing

Nine-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi is interested in competing at the final round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship at ACI Rally Monza.

The 41-year-old Italian is no stranger to driving a rally car at the northern Italian circuit – he’s already a seven-time winner of the all-asphalt event, which was added the WRC calendar earlier this month.

Asked about his plans for the rally, Rossi said: “I know about Monza – a lot of people have already called me.

“The plan was not to race in Monza because I wanted to race in Abu Dhabi again like last year. But, for sure, the situation has changed and to make it the last round of the world championship makes it a lot more interesting and I have to see what happens now.”

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Rossi last won the Monza event in 2018, driving a Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car.

M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener admitted the British team would be interested in adding the Italian bike legend to their team for the 4 - 6 December event.

“We’ve worked with Valentino for a number of years,” said Millener, “and it would be great to see someone like him at the event. I think Monza’s going to bring a really interesting opportunity to WRC. It’s attracted some great names in the past.”

Hyundai Motosport team principal Andrea Adamo also admitted he is looking at bringing a ‘star driver’ into his team for Monza.

Robert Kubica competed in WRC for three seasons between 2013 and 2015

Adamo said: “It could be more cars in Monza. It would be great to have more WRC cars. If you have a proper guest that can raise the attention, we have to take the opportunities that we have to raise the attention of the people in the World Rally Championship.

“I cannot deny that I am working with somebody to try to have more cars there.”

Ex-F1 driver and current DTM racer Robert Kubica has also been linked with a Monza appearance. The Pole competed in the WRC between 2013 and 2015 and won the WRC 2 crown in that first season. He won at Monza in 2014.

Rossi is no stranger to WRC action either, having twice competed on Britain’s WRC round and driven Rally New Zealand once.