Marco Simoncelli's outing at the annual Monza Rally came to a disappointing conclusion as a clutch problem prevented him from challenging for a podium.

The Gresini Honda rider was the highest-profile two-wheeled racer at the event in the absence of Valentino Rossi, the former MotoGP champion missing out this year as he recovers from his shoulder operation.

While treacherous weather conditions made things difficult for those not used to driving four-wheels over slippery surfaces, Simoncelli still established a podium challenge early on. However, a clutch problem would eventually leave him in 16th.

Elsewhere, Moto2 rider Andrea Iannone was 19th in the Super2000 category driving a Peugeot 207, while his title-winning rival Toni Elias was 28th driving a Abarth Grande Punto.

In the absence of Valentino, there was at least one Rossi on the starting ramp as his father Graziano, participated driving a Corvette Z06. He finished last but one.

The event was won by WRC driver Dani Sordo.