Mission accomplished! Valentino Rossi dreamed of becoming the biggest winner of all time at the Monza Rally Show and he's managed to become just that, scoring his sixth victory. It was an uphill climb for #46 though, after he received a 10 second penalty earlier on.
“This win reminds me a lot of Phillip Island in 2003 – he reveals – I got a 10-second penalty there too, having overtaken under a yellow flag but I was still able to win the race”.
Race direction's decision to penalise him came as something of a surprise.
“I think it was a simple mistake on the part of the team –explains the Doctor – the team made a mistake, in that they weighed the car with the light grille. At first I couldn't believe it, then I had to accept it”.
His hopes could have gone up in smoke...
“I have to say I thought I'd lost at that point. Then I went back out with the bit between my teeth and the penultimate stage was the most exciting. Then Bonanomi made a mistake and I won”.
In the Master Show he was forced to wave the white flag in the semi-final.
“unfortunately I wasn't very fast, I tried to make some changes to the car, but that didn't really help”.
With the Monza rally, the curtain comes down on the Doctor's racing season. And so it's now time to draw conclusions.
“It hasn't been a great year to be honest. There were some good races, but our potential is greater than what we saw. Now the hard part is closing the gap, we'll need to work hard”.
One 2017 memory must stand out though.
“I'd say Assen, winning is always special”.
In just over 20 days it's Christmas and he too hopes for a wonderful gift under the tree... from Yamaha.
“The final test saw us move in the right direction. Now everything's on hold until February. I would like a strong bike”.
Also on hand at the Monza Rally show was Alby, Rossi's right hand, who stated he couldn't imagine the MotoGP without #46. Some even maintain that a world championship without Valentino would be like the World Cup without Italy.
“I like this comparison- concludes the Italian with a smile- We'll try to continue for a while longer”.