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Ford boss: Rossi very committed, could GB top ten.

Ford boss Malcolm Wilson is tipping MotoGP superstar Valentino Rossi to finish in the top-ten on the Wales Rally GB next week.

Rossi, who recently finished second on the asphalt-based Monza Rally, has competed in the World Rally Championship just twice to date. Furthermore while his outing on the 2002 Rally GB in a Michelin-backed Peugeot 206 WRC 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 eight-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.

Wilson believes that the Italian could better that overall result come the finish of the 'RAC' on December 7.

"It is fantastic [that Valentino will be competing in a Ford on Rally GB]. We are really delighted about the fact that we have got Valentino in a Stobart car. He did the Monza Rally recently and finished second overall and really acquitted himself very, very well with the car," Wilson told Crash.net Radio.

"He would have probably had won the rally but he had a spin which cost him about 30 seconds and I think he lost the rally by about 20.

"Certainly from what we have seen from the testing up here he is very committed. He has got fantastic understanding of the car. It will be difficult for him given what the conditions could be like. But if it is dry and consistent I think he could definitely be a potential top-ten finisher."

Pressed on if he might be able to sneak into the top-eight and score a point, Wilson reiterated that it will all depend on the notoriously fickle Welsh weather, which could throw just about anything at the 86 competitors, 22 of whom will be in World Rally Cars.

"As I said, I think if the conditions are consistent and dry he can definitely squeeze into the top-ten. If it is wet, slippery and tricky then as we all know anything can happen," Wilson added.

"But he is certainly very committed to it and he definitely wants to achieve a good result. I know he wants to better the place he got in New Zealand [in 2006 - when he finished eleventh overall]. That is obviously top-ten and if he can do that I think it would be a remarkable result bearing in mind the competition that is going to be there."


by Rob Wilkins

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH MALCOLM WILSON: CLICK HERE


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Valentino Rossi. Ford Focus WRC. Monza Rally. November 2008. [Pic credit: Pirelli]
Propecia Rally New Zealand, 17 - 19 Novembre 2006Valentino Rossi (ita) subaru impreza wrc
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jukka KETOMÄKI (FIN) - Jarkko ALANEN (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE) - Joakim SJÖBERG (SWE) Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE)  Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally
12.02.2017 - Eyvind BRYNILDSEN (NOR) - Anders FREDRIKSSON (SWE) Ford Fiesta R5 Adapta Motorsport AS
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport

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