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Vale's Rally's

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Monza Rally

Post by jazmin on Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:31 am

Rossi, Lorenzo and De Angelis sign up for Monza Rally

Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Three MotoGP riders, plus other faces from the World Championship paddock, will be racing in the latest edition of the Monza Rally Show race.
ROSSI RALLY

The annual Monza Rally Show, held in Italy, will see three premier class riders competing against each other for the last time this season. This time, however, the action will be on four wheels rather than two.



2008 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi will be making his customary appearance alongside Carlo Cassina as he pits his skills against Fiat Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo and San Carlo Honda Gresini´s Alex de Angelis. The latter two will be behind the wheel of a Fiat Punto and Subaru Impreza, respectively.

Also upping the MotoGP representation is 250cc World Champion elect Marco Simoncelli, quarter-litre competitor Fabrizio Lai and Ducati test rider Vittoriano Guareschi.

Rossi´s father, Graziano, will be competing, in addition to his permanent sidekick `Uccio´s making his own assault on the victory.

The Monza Rally Show takes place from November 14th-16th in the city´s autodrome, with around fifty names on the entry list.
[img]
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by mkatta on Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:49 am

Ohh great to hear..
Will we have more news on that?
Is it broadcast on Eurosport?
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by Lannabanana46 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:31 pm

Don't think so, the rally he is doing in England will though, the WRC.
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by Kay46 on Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:52 am

I was going to go to Wales for the Rally GB but have decided can't afford in the run up to Christmas santa ! Sad
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:09 pm

Rossi adds two wheels to rally with the best
Email Printer friendly version Normal font Large font Sapporo, Japan
November 2, 2008

REIGNING MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi will switch to four wheels to take part in next month's Rally of Britain, a spokesman for the Italian said yesterday.

The eight-time motorcycling champion, who has competed in two rallies, will face his four-wheeled nemesis Sebastian Loeb, who is on course to win his fifth WRC title at this weekend's Rally of Japan.

Rossi, the son of a keen amateur rally driver, raced in the 2002 Rally of Britain in a Peugeot 206, and four years later placed a respectable 11th in a Subaru in the New Zealand edition.

The motor-mad Rossi has also competed in two formula one grands prix with Ferrari.

The Italian ace wrapped up his eighth MotoGP title in September, after beating Australian defending champion Casey Stoner in the Japanese GP.

Reigning WRC champion Loeb trailed Finnish rival Mikko Hirvonen in the opening special stages of the Rally of Japan on Friday, but with a 14-point lead the Frenchman only needed to place third to win the championship.

Stoner, meanwhile, has had a successful operation to his left wrist, according to a statement from the Australian's team Ducati yesterday.

Stoner had surgery in a hospital in Modena, Italy, on Thursday.

The Australian, who won the season-ending Valencia GP last weekend, was discharged yesterday, and returned to his home in Switzerland to recover.AFP

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Vale to support BBC Children in Need

Post by Kay46 on Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:15 pm

Vale to Rally for Children In Need:

Six time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi will support the BBC's Children in Need appeal when he takes part in December's Wales Rally GB.

The Italian's M-Sport-developed Ford Focus will carry Children in Need logos during the season-ending round of the 2008 World Rally Championship. The event takes place two weeks after the nationally-televised BBC Children in Need event and the charity will be using Rossi's involvement to lead one final push for donations.

"This is really exciting news. I'm looking forward to Wales Rally GB - and am hoping for a good result at next weekend's Monza Rally in order to prepare for the forests," said Rossi. "I'm also delighted to be supporting BBC Children in Need, which does such vital work in the UK. It's a great charity and one I'm very pleased to be involved in."


"It's a tremendous honour to have Valentino Rossi promoting BBC Children in Need," said Children in Need spokesman Marc Phillips. "We have had a remarkable response to this year's event on November 14th - and Wales Rally GB will be a fabulous final flourish for us. With a charity auction being held at the Service Park on the Friday night and volunteers collecting throughout the rally, it will be an important few days for us."

Rossi hasn't taken part in Rally GB since an ill-fated outing in 2002, but finished an impressive eleventh in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand.

"We're delighted to welcome Valentino Rossi to this year's Wales Rally GB," said Andrew Coe, chief executive of event organiser International Motor Sports Ltd. "He is a supreme ambassador for all forms of motor sport, as well as a remarkably-gifted sportsman. We look forward to seeing him take on the challenges of the Welsh forests."

Wales Rally GB takes place on December 4-7.
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by valegirl46 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:39 am

Rossi and Stobart team up for Children in Need.
Fri 14 Nov, 10:16 AM



Stobart will support Valentino Rossi's run for Children In Need on the Wales Rally GB next month.

Valentino Rossi and Stobart Motorsport will join forces next month for the Wales Rally GB in a bid to raise funds for Children in Need.

The Italian, who won the MotoGP title for the sixth time this year, will drive a Ford Focus RS with full Stobart livery and it will also incorporate the Children in Need logo and mascot Pudsey Bear.

A statement to the press read:

"In an effort to increase charitable donations for the Children in Need appeal the Stobart team are offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to one lucky person by putting up for auction a priceless item within the realms of world motorsport.

"In keeping with all Eddie Stobart trucks, and the team's other rally cars, the MotoGP star will sport a girl's name on the front of his car; and the choice of name will go the highest bidder in a charity auction.

"After the event, the name will then be transferred to one of the 1850 Eddie Stobart trucks where it will be cemented in the history books of the trucking Superbrand.

"The winner will also receive Stobart VIP hospitality for the event."

The auction will run from today [Friday November 14] until Friday 21 November and details on how to place a bid can be found at: www.stobartmotorsport.com.

"We are very excited to have Valentino driving a Stobart car on Wales Rally GB and its only right that the company does its bit to help raise money for the Children in Need charity which he is driving for," said Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler.

"I am a great fan of Valentino's and it will be a massive compliment to have our brand on his car and it will really bring a lot of excitement to the whole team next month in Wales."

Rossi's outing in Wales meanwhile will be his third in the World Rally Championship, and while his first with a Michelin-backed Peugeot 206 WRC on the 2002 Rally GB didn't go well - he crashed out just 17 kilometres in - a run in New Zealand four years later was much more successful.

Indeed the seven-time world champion steered a Subaru Impreza WRC from 24th, to 13th and then 11th over the three days, setting a best stage time of seventh in the process.

"If two wheels are the big love of my life, 4 wheels, and especially rally cars, are surely my big passion!" said Rossi. "Having the chance to race at the Wales Rally GB and having, at the same time, the possibility to raise funds for Children in Need is something really special and I am very proud and happy. I cannot wait to be in the car and to have a lot of fun!"

The 29-year-old will be co-driven by Carlo Cassina, who has contested 24 WRC events in his career. Cassina's resume includes one victory on Rally Portugal in 1988 beside the last and only Italian to win the World Rally Championship for drivers, Miki Biasion.
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by Mrs James Toseland on Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:16 am

Rossi finishes runner-up in Monza Rally


Italian places second in both overall classification and Master Stage of weekend event.


2008 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was for once a runner-up this past weekend, taking second place in the annual Monza Rally event. Behind the wheel of a Ford Focus and ably assisted by regular navigator Carlo Cassina, the Italian lost out to the combination of Rinaldo Capello and Luigi Pirollo in the star-studded car contest.

Rossi and Cassina also took the second spot in the `Master Show´ special stage, losing to Piero Longhi and Luca Cassol in the head-to-head final.

The MotoGP titlist was by far the most successful two-wheel competitor to take part in the event, with 250cc World Champion Marco Simoncelli the second highest placing in 27th. Taking to the track after a season in the Fiat Yamaha garage, Roberto and Davide Brivio were just behind Simoncelli.

Rossi´s regular teammate Jorge Lorenzo made his rally debut alongside his own Team Manager, Daniele Romagnoli. Contrary to his expectations of a low placing, Lorenzo came home a respectable 38th, using a Fiat Punto adorned with his soon-to-be-retired number 48.

Alex de Angelis rounded off the list of MotoGP riders making an appearance, finishing 41st.

Besides being an entertaining diversion for Rossi, the Monza Rally also served as preparation for his participation in the Rally GB stage of the World Rally Championship, which takes place on the 4th-7th of December. Before that, the six-time MotoGP World Champion has tests with Ferrari and a return to his day job at the end of the month.



i dont know if this is the car that he drove this time but its the only pic i have of him in the cars lol!

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:22 am

Rossi finishes runner-up in Monza Rally
Monday, 17 November 2008

Italian places second in both overall classification and Master Stage of weekend event.




2008 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was for once a runner-up this past weekend, taking second place in the annual Monza Rally event. Behind the wheel of a Ford Focus and ably assisted by regular navigator Carlo Cassina, the Italian lost out to the combination of Rinaldo Capello and Luigi Pirollo in the star-studded car contest.

Rossi and Cassina also took the second spot in the `Master Show´ special stage, losing to Piero Longhi and Luca Cassol in the head-to-head final.

The MotoGP titlist was by far the most successful two-wheel competitor to take part in the event, with 250cc World Champion Marco Simoncelli the second highest placing in 27th. Taking to the track after a season in the Fiat Yamaha garage, Roberto and Davide Brivio were just behind Simoncelli.

Rossi´s regular teammate Jorge Lorenzo made his rally debut alongside his own Team Manager, Daniele Romagnoli. Contrary to his expectations of a low placing, Lorenzo came home a respectable 38th, using a Fiat Punto adorned with his soon-to-be-retired number 48.

Alex de Angelis rounded off the list of MotoGP riders making an appearance, finishing 41st.

Besides being an entertaining diversion for Rossi, the Monza Rally also served as preparation for his participation in the Rally GB stage of the World Rally Championship, which takes place on the 4th-7th of December. Before that, the six-time MotoGP World Champion has tests with Ferrari and a return to his day job at the end of the month.

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by valegirl46 on Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:17 am

MotoGP star Rossi gives a rallying cry as he gets back in the fast-chance saloon by JERRY WILLIAMS
Last updated at 12:38 AM on 04th December 2008


Valentino Rossi, MotoGP's irrepressible 'clown prince', sent his legions of fans wild a month ago when he won his sixth championship.

Now the charismatic Italian briefly turns away from his £20million-a-year career for another crack at the sport he calls 'my hobby, my passion' - rallying.

Tomorrow, 'The Doctor' swaps the mild winter temperatures of Italy for the forests of South and mid-Wales as he again takes on the challenge of Rally GB.


He will drive a state-of-the-art £500,000 Ford Focus run by Malcolm Wilson's M-Sport, Ford's official world rally team, and has his heart set on a top 10 finish.

After testing the car near Wilson's Cumbria base he said: 'My first target is to finish. It's a long time since I've driven in mud. If two wheels are the big love of my life then four wheels, and especially rally cars, are surely my big passion.

'Having the chance to race at Rally GB is special and I cannot wait to be in the car and to have a lot of fun.

'The car is very fast and the engine pushes a lot so I had a good feeling from the beginning.'

Wilson said: 'Having a six-time world champion in the team is fantastic for the rally. Hopefully, he can attract some of his bike fans and I think if conditions stay dry a top 10 finish is definitely within his reach.'

Rossi has not ruled out more rallying in the future. 'I think it is possible when I finish with bikes,' he said.

World champion Sebastien Loeb will have his eye on a record. Having already secured his record fifth world title, Citroen's French ace knows that victory will give him 11 wins in the 15-round season, beating the 10 successes he had in 2005. It would also mean he has won every event on the calendar.

Two rivals who will be out to stop him are Ford stars Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala. The Finnish pair must finish first and second for team boss Wilson to have any chance of carrying off a third manufacturers' title in a row.

The rally attempts to regain some of its old popularity by breaking out of its South Wales bunker. For the first time since 1999 the event will venture for a day into mid-Wales, bringing the action closer to Birmingham and the West Midlands.

It is a brave move because the last time the area was used it resulted in gridlock on the A44, paralysing the rally for several hours.
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:29 pm

MotoGP » PICTURES: Valentino Rossi at Rally GB.
Thursday, 4th December 2008

Pictures of MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi in action during Wales Rally GB shakedown.

The first pictures of reigning six-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi in action during Thursday's shakedown test for Wales Rally GB, the final round of the 2008 World Rally Championship, are on Crash.net.

The Italian superstar is driving a Stobart-backed Ford Focus WRC car and also supporting the BBC's Children In Need charity. Rossi's car is being run by M-Sport, which is in charge of Ford's official WRC team as well as the satellite Stobart outfit.

Wales Rally GB marks Rossi's third World Rally Championship appearance. The Italian made his WRC debut in the 2002 edition of Rally GB, but crashed a Michelin-backed Peugeot 206 after just 17 kilometres of the first forest stage.

Rossi's return, in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand, was much more successful; The Doctor steering a Subaru Impreza up from 24th, to 13th and then 11th over the three days, setting a best stage time of seventh in the process.

Rossi is one of 21 competitors driving the premier WRC cars at this weekend's event, which concludes on Sunday. He was a cautious 17th fastest during Thursday's shakedown.

Since the end of his latest title-winning MotoGP season, Rossi has finished second in the asphalt-based Monza Rally, set a creditable pace in a Ferrari F1 car and been fastest of all in the final MotoGP test session of 2008.

Rossi will be back on two wheels during the first test of 2009, at Sepang in Malaysia from February 5-7.

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:32 pm

MotoGP » Valentino Rossi - Q&A (Rally GB).
Thursday, 4th December 2008

Q&A with MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi on the eve of his participation in Wales Rally GB, the final round of the 2008 World Rally Championship.


Rossi, who is driving a Stobart-backed Ford Focus WRC car in the event, finished 17th fastest during today's shakedown test.

The #46 (pictured with his Fiat Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio) retired from the 2002 Rally GB, but finished eleventh in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand.

The 2008 edition of Wales Rally GB begins on Friday morning...

Q:
Valentino, welcome back to the WRC. The last time we saw you in rally action was New Zealand in 2006, it has been a while! How much are you looking forward to this weekend?

Valentino Rossi:
I am so happy to be here because it is a great rally and first of all I have to thank Ford and Stobart for this opportunity. I drove the car in the forest also with Mathew[Wilson] two weeks ago and it was good and I now have more experience with the car. I will try and get to the end this time and to get more experience.

Q:
How did the recce go? Have you ever competed in conditions like we have here?

VR:
The stages are beautiful – a lot better that in 2002. They are flowing and the corners are faster and wider. For sure the weather conditions, especially with the one tyre rule, will give us a lot of problems with the ice and snow. I will have to go slower and try to control the car better.

Q:
You finished just outside the top ten in New Zealand but the last time you competed here it was an early retirement for you. What are you hoping for here?

VR:
In 2002 here I made a mistake in the second stage but in New Zealand I was clever and started slower and was able to make some good times towards the end and I think I will be like this. I will learn the feeling in the car and hope that the good times will start to come stage by stage.

Q:
How passionate are you about rallying? Could we see you in the WRC full time?

VR:
I have a great passion for it, because after my father had finished racing bikes he started with rallying. I started my career with go-karts before I went for bikes, but the passion remains very high for cars. I have had more experience on this car and realise that to understand the car is very important. I am used to racing on the track where you can get used to getting the perfect line, but here it is different. You have to listen to the co-driver and it is so important to get the right notes in the recce, so I think this is the hardest part of this sport – it's harder than racing a bike on a track. I have just signed for Yamaha for another two seasons, but after that we will see. I am in a good moment in my career right now so after two years I will decide. Maybe it is possible in the future but I am not sure at my level it will be possible.

Q:
I remember when you competed here in 2002 the only thing you didn't really like was the alarm clock going off so early in the morning! We have some really early starts here this time around, are you prepared for that?

VR:
It is like being back at school! I like to sleep a little bit more but I know this is a difficult week for me with a lot of early morning stages - but I am ready.

Q:
How crucial is getting a result in this event when you haven't done many rallies this season? Which is the rally you would most like to do?

VR:
I would really like to do a tarmac rally - like Corsica perhaps. For me now it is impossible because it is in the middle of my racing season. I have a lot less pressure to get a result here so I have a little advantage, but it is not important to win, it is more important to learn the car and get more experience in order to remain at this level.

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:28 pm

MotoGP » Rossi 17th in Rally GB shakedown.
Thursday, 4th December 2008

Valentino Rossi 17th fastest during the shakedown test for this weekend's Wales Rally GB.


MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi was ranked 17th fastest out of the 21 WRC-class cars during Thursday's shakedown test for Wales Rally GB.

The Italian, driving a Stobart-backed Ford Focus RS WRC car, completed the 3.90 kilometre test stage in Penllergaer Forest, 18 kilometres north of the service park in Swansea, in a best time of a 2min 41.7sec.

Mikko Hirvonen, driving for the official BP Ford Abu Dhabi team, was fastest of all in a time of 2min 25.6sec, which was 0.9sec faster than Subaru's Petter Solberg.

Rossi's realistic target this weekend is to try and beat his previous best WRC finish of eleventh, in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand. The tenth fastest driver on the shakedown test was Citroen's Sebastien Ogier in a time of 2min 30.6sec.

The ceremonial start of Wales Rally GB, the final round of the 2008 World Rally Championship, takes place today at 18.00 hours in Cardiff. The action then begins on Friday with eight stages, totalling around 124 competitive kilometres.

Rossi's WRC debut, in the 2002 edition of Wales Rally GB, ended on the very first forest stage.

Stage one of the 2008 event, a 19.10 kilometre run through Hafren, begins at 9.08am local time.

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by valegirl46 on Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:16 am

MotoGP » Rossi: Rally GB conditions 'unbelievable'.
Friday, 5th December 2008


MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has described Friday's opening stages of Wales Rally GB as "the worst rally conditions I've ever driven in" - but has at least avoided a repeat of his early 2002 retirement.

Adverse weather conditions had seen Friday's scheduled action drastically reduced before the day even began - the planned total of 123.68 competitive kilometres being slashed to just 57.04.

That was then reduced further when stage one was cancelled altogether, due to the amount of ice.


The belated action thus began on stage two, Sweet Lamb (4.28km), which Rossi completed in a 45th position, 34.5sec slower than the faster car. Nevertheless, Rossi must have been slightly relieved just to reach the finish, having crashed out on the first forest stage in 2002.

Rossi, driving a Stobart Ford Focus WRC car, then completed the 18.28km third stage in 33rd place, 1min 51.1sec behind the fastest car, moving the Italian up to 34th overall.

"It's just unbelievable!" said Rossi, who finished eleventh overall in much kinder conditions in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand. "There's lots of ice, but, hey, it's still fun! It's the worst rally conditions I've ever driven in... so far!"

The treacherous conditions have helped Citroen's Sebastien Ogier take an unexpected early lead.

Stage four has also been cancelled, leaving four more competitive stages on day one.
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by valegirl46 on Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:24 am

From The Times December 5, 2008

Valentino Rossi taking on four-wheel challenge
Rick Broadbent

The multi-tasking sportsman is an easy target. From George Foreman flipping fat-free burgers to Ian Botham's days leading the line at Scunthorpe United, the notion that a hero can spread his genius has long invited cynicism. It has been the same with Valentino Rossi, whose forays into Formula One provoked a snobbish sneer from Fernando Alonso, the two-times world champion in the sport, and whose first attempt to be a crossover rally star ended in a Welsh ditch. Nobody should be deceived, however, because this figure of fun is serious.

Davide Brivio, the manager of the six-times world champion's MotoGP team, confirmed to The Times that Ferrari had wanted to end the flirting and make an honest man of Rossi. “There was the chance for him to drive in GPs with Ferrari in 2007,” Brivio said. “Not as a test driver, no.”

This is the first time Rossi's much-debated role with Ferrari has been defined, but that door is now closed. What it shows is the money-men appreciate Rossi could get off his bike and make a second career on four wheels. It is why all the preamble to the Wales Rally GB, starting early today, has been about whether this 29-year-old maverick will switch to car racing when he hangs up his leathers, comedy stethoscope and blow-up doll-cum-pillion rider.

He has twice won the Monza Rally, albeit he accepts it is “not a real rally” because it is held largely on the motor-racing circuit, and finished eleventh in Rally New Zealand in 2006. In one-off sprints he has beaten a host of rally stars, including one of his heroes, Colin McRae. Today he is wearing a helmet that carries a homage to the late Scot. “It has his flag on it, because he was my friend and one of my heroes,” Rossi said. “I grew up with him and Subaru. This is to remember him in his home rally.”

The thing that is stopping Rossi from pledging himself to the World Rally Championship is not a lack of talent but a renewed love of MotoGP. After five successive titles, the rumours of a move to Ferrari mounted.He then went two years without winning it before regaining it this year. He revealed yesterday: “I think Formula One for me is difficult because I am quite old. Rallying is not impossible, but I have a contract with Yamaha for two more years and I hope that is not my last. If I stay at this level then I still enjoy it. The bike remains my first option and my first passion. My place is over there.”

That sounds unequivocal. Cue groans from four-wheel officials eyeing marketing manna. After his test a fortnight ago at Mugello, where Rossi was 1.5sec slower than Kimi Raikkonen's best time set in September, Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team director, said: “He would have been an excellent Formula One driver but he chose a different road.”

In 2006, David Richards, rallying's commercial chief, admitted that he would love him to defect, saying: “He'd be great for the sport.”

Rossi, though, has come to the conclusion that he is a genius on two wheels and anything else would leave a bitter taste. His love of car racing remains unchecked, although he said it will be “very difficult” for him to make the top ten in his Stobart M-Sport Ford Focus. “My father Graziano started rallying after he finished with the motorcycle,” he said.

Graziano was a flamboyant rider who won three 250cc grands prix in 1979 before suffering an horrendous crash, retiring and shunning five-star hotels to sleep in the back of a beaten-up BMW while his son races. “When I was a child, Graziano would take me in the car to make slides and the passion grew in me at that moment,” Rossi said.

He started out in go-karts and had two British idols, Nigel Mansell and Mike Hailwood. As with many elite bikers of his era, Hailwood also raced cars, getting the George Medal for pulling Clay Regazzoni from a burning car during the South African Grand Prix in 1973. Rossi is a keen historian and would dearly love to emulate Hailwood by proving that he is not a one-trick thoroughbred.

However, John Surtees, the only man to win both Formula One and 500cc motorcycle world titles, believes he has left it too late. “They start thinking of making these changes after their peak,” he said. “I probably had another ten years left in me when I switched.”

He also questioned the claim that Rossi had turned down a Formula One grand-prix seat. “I said the stopwatch would decide it and it did - he had a lot of time in the very best car but he wasn't fast enough,” he said. “If he looked like being competitive he'd have changed - simple as that.”

Matthew Wilson, the British rally driver who is tenth in the championship, helped Rossi during an 80-kilometre test. “He can drive,” Wilson said, although he added that Rossi's impressive result in Rally New Zealand in 2006 came against a weaker field than he faces this weekend.

Snow and ice are expected to make this year's Wales Rally GB a treacherous one. Rossi, who followed up his Ferrari test by topping the MotoGP times in testing in Jerez, Spain, last week, says that swapping between disciplines is not a problem. “It's different but not difficult,” he said. “My main target is to have fun. In 2002 I made a small mistake and went home. This year the stages are very good, but it's a pity there will be snow. I will try to improve my times and my feeling with the car stage by stage, but we will have to be lucky.”

Six years ago, Rossi's Rally GB ended with him running down a Welsh forest lane to round up some spectators to pull his Peugeot out of a ditch after nine miles. He went home to London and his co-driver, Carlo Cassina, back again this year, went to Parc Fermé. “That was a disaster,” Rossi said, but he believes the pressure is off this time because, while serious, he is not seeking a second career. The man who used to turn up on the podium in different national costumes has finally decided not to reinvent himself or the wheels.
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:35 pm

Rossi begins Rally GB with number 46
Friday, 05 December 2008

MotoGP World Champion to use customary number as WRC guest appearance begins.



Valentino Rossi may be in the confines of a Ford Focus car at this weekend´s WRC Rally GB event, but the 2008 MotoGP World Champion will be recognisable to motorcycle fans due to his customary number 46´s adorning the four wheeled machine.

Rossi began his latest guest rally appearance in a shakedown test on Thursday, placing 17th out of 21 riders in the Penllergaer Forest stage. The Italian today (Friday) begins the Rally GB proper, with the first stage taking place at Hafren. A further seven stages will follow, racking up a total of around 124 kilometres.

Rossi is using the number 46, which he has run throughout his racing career, after a charitable donation from Finnish driver Jari Ketomaa (the regular owner of the number in the WRC season). Ketomaa will instead use 146 this weekend.

`It was very important for me to get number 46 - Jari was very fair to give me the number,´ said Rossi on the Finn´s generosity. `I was car 46 on the two rallies I have done previously and I´ve never ridden a motorbike or driven a car in an official race without it.´

The Fiat Yamaha rider tested the Stobart-backed car before the recent Jerez test, although he does not feel totally prepared for the event in Wales. `We have only done one day of testing in the UK, about three weeks ago, and that´s not a lot, so our testing will continue in the race. We need to make a few kilometres to understand the car, and then we´ll see,´ he analyses.

`My goal is to have fun and finish. At the end of New Zealand (his previous rally runout, in 2006) in some stages I was about two seconds per kilometre off (WRC star) Marcus Gronholm´s pace. My target is to try and get as close to the leaders again here.´

Rossi recently finished runner-up in the annual Monza Rally event in his native Italy.

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:43 pm

MotoGP » Rossi gains ground at Rally GB.
Friday, 5th December 2008

Valentino Rossi rises from 45th to 26th after stage six of Wales Rally GB.

MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi improved his pace, and overall ranking, during stages five and six on the opening day of Wales Rally GB.

The weather in the Welsh forests was so bad that the Hafren stage, due to be run twice on Friday - as stage one and then stage four - was cancelled on both occasions due to the amount of ice present.

The rally thus began on stage two, when Rossi was just 45th fastest, before steering his Stobart-run Ford Focus WRC car up to 34th on stage three, during treacherous conditions described by the Italian as the worst he had ever driven a rally car in (see previous story).

Despite several 'moments', the eight time world champion upped his pace during stages five and six, when he set the 24th and 15th fastest stage times.

"It is still a bit tricky in there. There is a lot of water and mud. We lost the rear bumper too," said Rossi after stage five.

The #46 was particularly happy with his 15th place on stage six, the second run of the day through the 18.28km Myherin test, which he completed 21.6sec faster than he had this morning.

“We've improved our time through there a lot from this morning, so I'm really pleased," said Rossi.

Rossi now holds 26th position overall, 3min 4.6sec behind rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala, with only two runs through the short Walters Arena stage left before the conclusion of day one.

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:45 pm

MotoGP » Rossi 24th after day one at Rally GB.
Friday, 5th December 2008

Valentino Rossi rises from 45th to 24th during day one of Wales Rally GB.

MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi was just 45th fastest after the opening stage of Wales Rally GB, but had improved his position to 24th by the end of a treacherous opening day.

Adverse weather conditions saw Friday's schedule reduced from a planned total of 123.68 competitive kilometres to just 57.04 before the day had even begun.

That was shortened further when Hafren, due to be run twice on Friday - as stage one and then stage four - was cancelled on both occasions due to the amount of ice present.

The six stages that did run competitively provided a tough test for even the WRC's finest.

Rossi, having crashed out of the very first forest stage on his WRC debut at the 2002 Rally GB, must have felt considerable pressure as he returned to the unforgiving welsh forests, but this time he was able to conquer the conditions.

Rossi, driving a Stobart-backed Ford Focus WRC car alongside co-driver Carlo Cassina, had climbed to 34th overall after stage three, then 30th after stage five and 26th after stage six. The last two stages of the day, a short 2.29km double run through Walters Arena saw Rossi gain two more positions to end the day in 24th overall.

"The condition of the stages this afternoon were bad with the fog and rain but not as bad as the ice from the morning," revealed Rossi. "We improved very much our stage times from the first pass so that has been a very positive improvement. The longer stages are better for me as I can get into a good rhythm and it starts to feel quite good; the car is really fun to drive."

The Doctor's best stage position on day one was 15th on stage six, the second run through the 18.28km Myherin test. Rossi was particularly pleased with that result, since his time was 21.6sec faster than it had been in the morning.

Rossi presently sits 3min 28.0sec behind rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala (BP Ford) and is just under two minutes away from tenth placed team-mate Matthew Wilson.

Rossi's previous WRC outing, during far kinder conditions in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand, saw the eight-time world champion finish an impressive eleventh.
On that occasion Rossi was also holding 24th position after day one, before progressing to 13th during day two and eleventh after day three. Rossi set a best stage time of seventh during the event.

Weather permitting, Saturday is scheduled to see a full day's action covering 129 kilometres of stage distance, including the Cardiff Super Special in the Millennium Stadium.

Valentino Rossi - 2008 Rally GB:
Friday:
Stage 1: 3.67km Hafren 1 Cancelled due to amount of ice.
Stage 2: 4.28km Sweet Lamb 1 45th on stage (+34.5sec), 45th overall (+34.5sec),
Stage 3: 18.28km Myherin 1 33rd on stage (+1min 23.8sec), 34th overall (+1min 51.1sec).
Stage 4:3.67km Hafren 2 Cancelled due to amount of ice.
Stage 5: 4.28km Sweet Lamb 2 24th on stage (+16.8sec), 30th overall (+2min 3.9sec).
Stage 6: 18.28km Myherin 2 15th on stage (+1min 4.9sec), 26th overall (+3min 4.6sec).
Stage 7: 2.29km Walters Arena 1 25th on stage (+12.9sec), 24th overall (+3min 17.5sec).
Stage 8: 2.29km Walters Arena 2 30th on stage (+11.4sec), 24th overall (+3min 28.0sec).

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:47 pm

MotoGP » Rossi: Rally GB conditions 'unbelievable'.
Friday, 5th December 2008

MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi survives early stages of 2008 Wales Rally GB.

MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has described Friday's opening stages of Wales Rally GB as "the worst rally conditions I've ever driven in" - but has at least avoided a repeat of his early 2002 retirement.

Adverse weather conditions had seen Friday's scheduled action drastically reduced before the day even began - the planned total of 123.68 competitive kilometres being slashed to just 57.04.

That was then reduced further when stage one was cancelled altogether, due to the amount of ice.

The belated action thus began on stage two, Sweet Lamb (4.28km), which Rossi completed in a 45th position, 34.5sec slower than the faster car. Nevertheless, Rossi must have been slightly relieved just to reach the finish, having crashed out on the first forest stage in 2002.

Rossi, driving a Stobart Ford Focus WRC car, then completed the 18.28km third stage in 33rd place, 1min 51.1sec behind the fastest car, moving the Italian up to 34th overall.

"It's just unbelievable!" said Rossi, who finished eleventh overall in much kinder conditions in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand. "There's lots of ice, but, hey, it's still fun! It's the worst rally conditions I've ever driven in... so far!"

The treacherous conditions have helped Citroen's Sebastien Ogier take an unexpected early lead.

Stage four has also been cancelled, leaving four more competitive stages on day one.


Last edited by tammerz on Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:19 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:21 am

MotoGP » Rossi: Rally GB conditions a big disaster!
Friday, 5th December 2008

Six-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi reflects on an opening day to the 2008 Wales Rally GB in his Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Focus that really put his talent and ability to the test.

Valentino Rossi has described the weather and surface conditions on the opening day of the 2008 edition of Wales Rally GB as 'quite a big disaster', as rain, snow and ice saw competitors' mileage significantly curtailed and two stages cancelled altogether.

That being the case, the six-time MotoGP World Champion admitted that he was happy to have made it to the end of the day with no scratches to his car, and in a respectable 24th position. It may have been a cautious start, but with accidents accounting for a number of runners, it was clearly the right approach to take.

“Like in New Zealand, we started very slowly to avoid making any mistakes at the beginning,” the Italian told Crash.net in Swansea, alluding to his successful 2006 outing in the southern hemisphere, “and also because we have to cover a lot of kilometres [over the rally].

“The conditions were very difficult, the worst possible I think. We had a spin on the ice, but it wasn't a big moment. We were lucky, because we spun completely 360 degrees and came back in the right direction, so it was okay.

“We still managed to set some good stage times so we are happy, and on Saturday we will have some long stages so we'll see what happens.”

One overwhelming positive is that the man from Urbino has already got substantially further than he managed on his only previous WRGB appearance, when he crashed out on only the second stage six years ago. Getting ever-more comfortable in his Stobart VK M-Sport-run Ford Focus WRC, Rossi is confident of better conditions on day two – and of climbing some way higher up the leaderboard.

“For me it was a little bit tricky at the beginning,” the 29-year-old added in an end-of-day media gathering. “If you drive like you do on the track – trying to go at the maximum – for sure you will make mistakes, so you have to push a little bit less.

“The day wasn't easy for anybody, because the conditions were very much at the limit with ice, snow, rain, mud – it was quite a big disaster! It's been a lot more difficult than New Zealand, because on this rally it's quite easy to make mistakes, so we tried to control the car and improve step-by-step.

“I'm quite happy about my stage times, especially the second loop on stages five and six. We reached the end of the day with no damage to the car and, after covering more kilometres, on Saturday's long stages I think I will have a better feeling with it.”

by Russell Atkins

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:23 am

MotoGP » Rossi up to 16th on Rally GB.
Saturday, 6th December 2008

Valentino Rossi makes promising start to second day of Wales Rally GB.


After a character-building opening day, Valentino Rossi has enjoyed a promising start to the second leg of Wales Rally GB - gaining eight places during Saturday's first three stages.

"The conditions are better, not as much ice, so we try to go faster today," said Rossi this morning.

Rossi, driving a Stobart-run Ford Focus WRC car, has finished 20th, 17th and 16th in the three stages held so far today - moving him up from 24th (on Friday night) to 16th in the overall standings.

"I've made no mistakes. I'm hoping the sunshine will clear the frozen sections," Rossi stated during the service break.

The WRC competitors will now take on the same three stages for a second time, before ending the day with a short 'super special' stage held in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

The rally concludes with four new stages on Sunday, when Rossi will be hoping to beat his previous best WRC finish of eleventh (in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand).


Valentino Rossi - 2008 Rally GB:

Friday:
Stage 1: 3.67km Hafren 1 Cancelled due to amount of ice.
Stage 2: 4.28km Sweet Lamb 1 45th (+34.5sec), 45th overall (+34.5sec).
Stage 3: 18.28km Myherin 1 33rd (+1min 23.8sec), 34th overall (+1min 51.1sec).
Stage 4:3.67km Hafren 2 Cancelled due to amount of ice.
Stage 5: 4.28km Sweet Lamb 2 24th (+16.8sec), 30th overall (+2min 3.9sec).
Stage 6: 18.28km Myherin 2 15th (+1min 4.9sec), 26th overall (+3min 4.6sec).
Stage 7: 2.29km Walters Arena 1 25th (+12.9sec), 24th overall (+3min 17.5sec).
Stage 8: 2.29km Walters Arena 2 30th (+11.4sec), 24th overall (+3min 28.0sec).

Saturday:
Stage 9: 30.68km Resolfen 1 20th (+1min 40.8sec), 19th overall (+4min 37.4sec).
Stage 10: 18.57km Halfway 1 17th (+59.0sec), 17th overall (+5min 36.4sec).
Stage 11: 14.86km Crychan 1 16th (+36.7sec), 16th overall (+6min 8.9sec).

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:26 am

MotoGP » Rossi survives 'off' for day two 15th.
Saturday, 6th December 2008

Valentino Rossi survives accident to reach 15th position after day two of Wales Rally GB.


Reigning six-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has finished day two of Wales Rally GB in 15th position, an impressive nine places higher than his ranking at the end of day one.

Rossi, driving a Stobart-run Ford Focus WRC car, began the day by posting the 20th, 17th and 16th fastest times on the opening three stages - moving him quickly up from 24th on Friday to 16th in the overall standings.

The Italian explained that he found Saturday's longer stages much more suited to his driving style and was able to get into a good rhythm. Crucially in such a punishing event, Rossi also made no mistakes - this morning at least.

"The first stage felt really good for me. There was some frost but less ice than yesterday," said Rossi, driving alongside Carlo Cassina. "The other two stages were more loose with some rocks and gravel but I'm enjoying it much more today and we have a good rhythm with the car."

Those same three stages - Resolfen, Halfway and Crychan - were then repeated in the afternoon.

"We go a lot faster than the first time," said Rossi after holding his 16th overall during the second Resolfen run. "We are happy - this stage is fantastic! We try to get a good speed and I am getting a good feeling with the car."

However, the following Halfway and Crychan stages proved much more 'eventful'.

"I don't like that stage at all - I'm glad it's over," admitted Rossi after his second run through Halfway, when he set the 20th fastest stage time. "I got stuck behind car 23 and held up."

That hold-up meant that, for the first time, Rossi dropped a position in the standings, but he was able to regain 16th overall through Crychan - despite an accident.

"It is so slippy and a lot of ice. We went too fast into a corner and overshot it which smashed the front of the car and cracked the windscreen but it is OK," explained The Doctor, who crashed out of the 2002 edition of Rally GB on the very first forest stage.

Having survived the final proper stage of the second day, Rossi then settled his nerves with a best yet 12th place during the short Cardiff 'super special', held inside the Millennium Stadium. The result helped move Rossi up to 15th position at the end of day two.

"The big mover today has been Valentino who has jumped nine positions up the leaderboard to 15th," highlighted Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson. "It is fantastic to see his pace has improved as he is now getting used to the conditions."

"I'm really enjoying this rally and I have settled in more than the first day," confirmed Rossi. "The Focus feels very good now and my times are improving with every stage and that was my main aim for this rally."

Rossi heads into the final day almost exactly one-minute behind 14th place and nearly five minutes behind tenth position (held by team-mate Matthew Wilson).

That means the #46 will almost certainly need to benefit from retirements ahead of him if he is to better his eleventh place finish on his previous WRC appearance, during the less challenging 2006 Rally of New Zealand.

Nevertheless, Rossi is on target to finish much closer to the rally winner than he had been in NZ. The eight-time world champion was 20min 38.8sec behind Marcus Gronholm in 2006, but he is presently only 9min 37.6sec behind Rally GB leader Jari-Matti Latvala.

The 2008 Wales Rally GB concludes with four new stages on Sunday - and the warning of further wintery weather overnight.

"Tomorrow will be a very difficult day judging by the weather forecast, but hopefully the Stobart crews will all make it to the finish ramp," said Wilson.


Valentino Rossi - 2008 Rally GB:

Friday:
Stage 1: 3.67km Hafren 1 Cancelled due to amount of ice.
Stage 2: 4.28km Sweet Lamb 1 45th (+34.5sec), 45th overall (+34.5sec).
Stage 3: 18.28km Myherin 1 33rd (+1min 23.8sec), 34th overall (+1min 51.1sec).
Stage 4:3.67km Hafren 2 Cancelled due to amount of ice.
Stage 5: 4.28km Sweet Lamb 2 24th (+16.8sec), 30th overall (+2min 3.9sec).
Stage 6: 18.28km Myherin 2 15th (+1min 4.9sec), 26th overall (+3min 4.6sec).
Stage 7: 2.29km Walters Arena 1 25th (+12.9sec), 24th overall (+3min 17.5sec).
Stage 8: 2.29km Walters Arena 2 30th (+11.4sec), 24th overall (+3min 28.0sec).

Saturday:
Stage 9: 30.68km Resolfen 1 20th (+1min 40.8sec), 19th overall (+4min 37.4sec).
Stage 10: 18.57km Halfway 1 17th (+59.0sec), 17th overall (+5min 36.4sec).
Stage 11: 14.86km Crychan 1 16th (+36.7sec), 16th overall (+6min 8.9sec).
Stage 12: 30.68km Resolfen 2 18th (+1min 37.3sec), 16th overall (+7min 30.2sec).
Stage 13:18.57km Halfway 2 20th (+1min 13.3sec), 17th overall (+8min 37.5sec).
Stage 14: 14.86km Crychan 2 17th (+1min 00.5sec), 16th overall (+9min 38.0sec).
Stage 15: 0.99km Cardiff 1 12th (+3.1sec), 15th overall (+9min 37.6sec).

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:30 am

MotoGP » Valentino Rossi finishes 12th in Rally GB.
Sunday, 7th December 2008

Valentino Rossi reaches the finish of Wales Rally GB in 12th position.


MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has finished Wales Rally GB in twelfth position, having gained three more places during Sunday's third and final day.

Sunday's action consisted of just four stages but, once again, conditions remained challenging due to further icy weather overnight.

Rossi began the day in 15th place, a position he held by setting the 13th fastest time through Sunday's slippery opening stage at Rheola. "It was very slippery - there is lots of ice. But the stage was nice and fast, it felt much better than before. I'm just trying to go fast without falling off," said the Stobart driver, who lost the rear bumper of his Ford Focus WRC car.

The Doctor, aided by co-driver Carlo Cassina, then gained one position with his best stage performance of the event; an eleventh place during his first run through Port Talbot.

"It is a good stage and it looks like we are a bit faster today," said Valentino. "We enjoy and the conditions are not too bad. It is a long time from my last rally in New Zealand [in 2006] to now, but day by day and stage by stage my feeling improves so we are happy. I know I'm driving better than all rally. It's difficult, but to reach the finish will be a real achievement.”

Only a repeat of the Rheola and Port Talbot stages then stood between Rossi and his first Rally GB finish.

The 29-year-old was twelfth fastest through Rheola 2, moving him up to 13th overall, and went on to finish in style by matching his stage best of eleventh during the Port Talbot finale, whilst moving up to twelfth overall in the final standings.

Rossi had been just 45th after stage one of the event, but rose to 24th by the end of day one, 15th by the end of day two, before claiming his hard-earned twelfth at the completion of the 19th and final stage (two of which, on Friday, were cancelled).

The Italian therefore missed out on beating his eleventh place in the 2006 Rally of New Zealand finish by just one position, but conditions were far tougher in Wales and Rossi was at least able to finish much closer to the rally winner than he had been in NZ.

The eight-time world champion was 20min 38.8sec behind Marcus Gronholm in 2006, but crossed the finish line 13min 10.4sec behind 2008 Rally GB winner Sebastien Loeb (Citroen). Rossi's best stage placing in NZ was seventh.

Rossi finished ahead of six fellow WRC cars, while four drivers in the WRC class failed to finish. Rossi's Stobart Ford team-mates François Duval, Malcolm Wilson and Barry Clark finished sixth, ninth and tenth respectively. Clark (and a top ten finish) was two and a half minutes in front of Rossi, while the fourth Stobart car of Henning Solberg retired.

Speaking after finishing the final stage, Rossi couldn't hide his delight at conquering the event.

"I am so happy! I'm thrilled to be here at the end. That was great," smiled Rossi. "It has been a great weekend and we put in some good times on the last stages. It is a step by step process. I tried to understand the notes and the conditions and make no big mistakes and keep on learning. It's great to finish without any big mistakes in these conditions."

Aside from the satisfaction of reaching the finish of such a gruelling event, Rossi was also given the 'Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally Award'. The award is presented to 'any individual who exhibits the values for which the emirate is famous: respect, innovation, integrity and teamwork' and is also designed to recognise 'contribution to the sport'. The recipient of the award at each rally gets a trophy and an invitation to visit Abu Dhabi.

The 2008 Wales Rally GB was Rossi's third WRC event; he crashed a Peugeot 206 during the very first forest stage of his WRC debut, at Rally GB in 2002, before guiding a Subaru Impreza to his first WRC finish four years later in NZ.

Since the end of his latest title-winning MotoGP season, Rossi has finished second in the asphalt-based Monza Rally, set a creditable pace in a Ferrari F1 car, been fastest of all in the final MotoGP test session of 2008 and now finished twelfth in the final round of this year's World Rally Championship.

Rossi will be back on two wheels during the first official MotoGP test of 2009, to be held at Sepang in Malaysia from February 5-7.


Valentino Rossi - 2008 Rally GB:

Friday:
Stage 1: 3.67km Hafren 1 Cancelled due to amount of ice.
Stage 2: 4.28km Sweet Lamb 1 45th (+34.5sec), 45th overall (+34.5sec).
Stage 3: 18.28km Myherin 1 33rd (+1min 23.8sec), 34th overall (+1min 51.1sec).
Stage 4:3.67km Hafren 2 Cancelled due to amount of ice.
Stage 5: 4.28km Sweet Lamb 2 24th (+16.8sec), 30th overall (+2min 3.9sec).
Stage 6: 18.28km Myherin 2 15th (+1min 4.9sec), 26th overall (+3min 4.6sec).
Stage 7: 2.29km Walters Arena 1 25th (+12.9sec), 24th overall (+3min 17.5sec).
Stage 8: 2.29km Walters Arena 2 30th (+11.4sec), 24th overall (+3min 28.0sec).

Saturday:
Stage 9: 30.68km Resolfen 1 20th (+1min 40.8sec), 19th overall (+4min 37.4sec).
Stage 10: 18.57km Halfway 1 17th (+59.0sec), 17th overall (+5min 36.4sec).
Stage 11: 14.86km Crychan 1 16th (+36.7sec), 16th overall (+6min 8.9sec).
Stage 12: 30.68km Resolfen 2 18th (+1min 37.3sec), 16th overall (+7min 30.2sec).
Stage 13:18.57km Halfway 2 20th (+1min 13.3sec), 17th overall (+8min 37.5sec).
Stage 14: 14.86km Crychan 2 17th (+1min 00.5sec), 16th overall (+9min 38.0sec).
Stage 15: 0.99km Cardiff 1 12th (+3.1sec), 15th overall (+9min 37.6sec).

Sunday:
Stage 16: 27.96km Rheola 1 13th (+1min 24.4sec), 15th overall (+10min 56.9sec).
Stage 17: 20.09km Port Talbot 1 11th (+48.9sec), 14th overall (+11min 45.0sec).
Stage 18: 27.96km Rheola 2 12th (+54.3sec), 13th overall (+12min 30.1sec).
Stage 19: 20.09km Port Talbot 2 11th (+42.5sec), 12th overall (+13min 10.4sec).

_________________
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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:43 am

MotoGP » Rossi wants Rally GB return, Brivio impressed.
Sunday, 7th December 2008

Valentino Rossi hoping to return to Wales Rally GB in 2009, MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio impressed by his WRC pace.


Moments after reaching the finish of Wales Rally GB on Sunday, MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi expressed his desire to return in 2009.

Rossi banished the demons of his embarrassing 2002 Rally GB exit, when he crashed out on the very first foresee stage, by rising from 45th to 12th on his 2008 return.

"I have had an enjoyable time and I would love to come back next year if that is possible but that is not decided yet," revealed the Italian Superstar.

Rossi's march up the leaderboard in such a gruelling event - which saw rain, ice, snow and fog - impressed his Fiat Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio, present in Wales and himself an occasional rally competitor.

"Valentino started carefully and was getting used to the rally. By the end he was much closer to the top and on one stage quicker than [team-mate] Wilson, so he reached his targets," said Brivio.

Rossi will remain a Yamaha MotoGP rider for at least the next two seasons, but even Brivio couldn't help wondering what Rossi could achieve if he made a full time switch to the WRC.

"It would be interesting to see what he could do if he did all the rounds of the championship," he said. "Even now he's working on his notes, getting them right and trying to understand how to describe what's ahead.”

Rossi finished Rally GB 13min 10.4sec behind event winner Sebastien Loeb (Citroen), which was seven minutes closer to the top than he'd been in his previous WRC outing at the 2006 Rally of New Zealand. On that occasion, The Doctor finished in eleventh position.

Rossi, who recently returned to the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car, has frequently hinted that he could switch to rallying after MotoGP.

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Re: Vale's Rally's

Post by tammerz on Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:07 pm

Rossi comes home twelfth in Rally GB event
Monday, 08 December 2008

One-off WRC appearance ends in success for MotoGP title holder in Wales.



MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi´s weekend of WRC action ended as a resounding success for the Italian, as he claimed a creditable twelfth position after a gruelling three days of the Rally GB.

Driving a Stobart-backed Ford Focus for the event, Rossi and co-driver Carlos Cassina moved up three places from fifteenth on Sunday after a thrilling final two stages, concluding his progression up the field. He had leapt from 45th (at the end of the first stage) to 24th by the end of day one, and continued to pick up speed over the course of the remaining two days. His twelfth place not only banished demons of his first Rally GB appearance –which he was unable to complete after an early crash- but was also just one position off his 2006 finish in the New Zealand round of the WRC series.

`I´m very happy today, firstly to finish the rally and secondly to set some very good times on the four stages today,´ said Rossi after the event´s conclusion, upon which he received the Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally award for his efforts.

`The car was fantastic and I was finding it easy to drive when we got a precise setting. My approach here was to take the race step-by-step and try not to make any mistakes and this worked well. I think this rally was very difficult and finishing it makes me very happy indeed. The Focus was really nice to drive and it´s been fantastic working with the Stobart team.´

Big mistakes there weren´t, but the six-time MotoGP titlist did have an edge-of-seat moment in the icy conditions on Saturday. Taking on the Crychan stage of the rally, Rossi overshot a corner and smashed up the front of his car, cracking the windscreen and losing the front bumper.

In placing twelfth, Rossi placed higher than six regular WRC riders, and was 13´10.4 behind Citroen´s Rally GB winner Sebastien Loeb.

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