Valentino Rossi sets his sights on his sixth Monza Rally Show win, but the road to success is tougher than expected. Yes, because on day two of racing, the Doctor had to deal with Marco Bonanomi, who proved to be a real thorn in the side for #46. Only one tenth separates the pair, with Rossi ahead, so there's everything to play for in the final three heats.
“I'm pleased with how Saturday went - begins Rossi – it's a real battle with Marco and I'm sure that we'll fight it out to the end. It's not just him fighting me for the win, but also Mikkelsen and Cairoli who are close”.
Once again, the MotoGP rider has made the difference during the two stages of the special “Grand Prix”, more than 70 km long.
“With respect to the rallyists, the riders have a small advantage here – analyses #46 – us bike riders have grown up focusing on braking, finding that final metre lap after lap and perhaps this is why we're competitive”.
Rossi expands on the subject.
“In the short stages, it's like completing a qualifying lap with fresh tyres, where I'm not particularly fast. I prefer the specials where you need to complete more laps, which is more like a race”.
The last two stages take place in the dark, more reminiscent of the Suzuka 8 Hours.
“Driving at night is very rally– commented Rossi- compared to Monza, Suzuka was even tougher, because the bike has only one light and you couldn't see anything. Luckily when I races the 8 Hours I wasn't in that situation, because the first time I didn't finish the race and the second time Edwards did the final stage. Personally I don't really like racing at night, because it's dangerous”.
A final word about the riders market with a view to 2019, and KTM's interest in Zarco. Rossi is asked what Yamaha should do.
“I honestly wouldn't know, I'm only thinking about myself”.