Valentino Rossi was playing catch up on day one of the Monza Rally Show. Finishing with the fastest time in second practice wasn't enough to secure him the lead, as he received a five-second penalty after hitting a traffic cone. Precious seconds that saw him drop back to fourth place, 4”4 from the front, behind Hyundai drivers Mikkelsen and Neuville.
“It was a pity about the cone– starts #46 – I made a small mistake in braking which cost dearly. I'm pleased anyway, because I was immediately able to be competitive with the Fiesta. This year will be a good battle I'm sure, as there are five drivers that can fight for the win”.
For the Doctor, the Fiesta is a car that has no secrets.
“This year Uccio and Roberto Brivio decided to race with the Hyundai because our team didn't have any other cars available, I continue to get on well with the Ford, it's very high-performing”.
Before arriving in Monza, the Doctor was a guest on radio show Deejay Chiama Italia, where he met Linus and Nicola Savino. During the chat, he compared Zarco to Verstappen. And which F1 driver does Marc Marquez remind him of?
“I wouldn't know, I'd say Verstappen in his case too (he jokes)”.
There is rally and bike talk, as well as mention of the Sepang tests of course.
“We didn't have any significant new parts in Malaysia – he reveals – I did test a new engine though, which gave me confidence. We had a useful two days, as I was able to lap in the wet and the dry”.
Lastly, he touches on the world cup draw.
“It's definitely a pity that Italy's not there. I won't be supporting any team this summer”.