MotoGP star Valentino Rossi signed off his 2016 activities by claiming his fifth victory in the Monza Rally Show.
The 37th running of the event again brought together an eclectic mix of riders and drivers, competing on rally stages marked out on both the current F1 circuit and historic banking of the famous Italian venue.
Driving an M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta with Carlo Cassina as his co-driver, Rossi beat WRC star Daniel Sordo (Hyundai) by a decisive 18.4-seconds after an hour and a half of competition, spread over ten stages. Endurance racer Marco Bonanomi (Citroen) was half-a-second behind Sordo in third.
The Doctor, a distant runner-up to Honda's Marc Marquez in MotoGP this season, wrapped up a double victory by also headlining the Monster Energy Masters Show. Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio finished fifth with Rossi's 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," Rossi said. "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, 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 previously won the event in 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2015. He will be back on his Yamaha MotoGP machine when the winter testing ban ends with the official Sepang test, in late January.
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