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Rossi claims victory at Monza Rally

Valentino Rossi has wrapped up the 2015 Monster Energy Monza Rally in front of an adoring home crowd after fending off a late charge by WRC driver Thierry Neuville.
Valentino Rossi has wrapped up the 2015 Monster Energy Monza Rally in front of an adoring home crowd after fending off a late charge by WRC driver Thierry Neuville.

In his traditional end of year switch from two to four wheels, the nine-time world champion is a regular star at the Italian rally event which cuts across the Monza national park and the Grand Prix circuit, with Rossi racing alongside childhood friend and a familiar face in his MotoGP garage Alessio 'Uccio' Salucci.

Holding a comfortable 33.6s gap on the chasing pack heading into the final day, Rossi secured his fourth career win at the Mona Rally event by getting his Ford Fiesta WRC 1.6 machine safely home.

Hyundai WRC driver Neuville made a late gambit by taking victory in SS8 but having already lost over half a minute to the #46, his chances of overhauling Rossi relied on the Italian suffered a mechanical nightmare.

Rossi had no such trouble and claimed the chequered flag in style by winning the final stage, SS9, with Roberto Brivio in second 4.8s back.

Neuville held on to second place overall by finishing fourth on the final stage – 13.4s off Rossi – to claim the runners-up position by 12.6s from Brivio.

Rossi adds his fourth Monza Rally victory to his previous successes in 2006, 2007 and 2012 to rounds out a dramatic year in which he narrowly missed out on a tenth world championship to Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

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