Robert Kubica said he enjoyed his battle for victory in the Monza Rally "against a fantastic driver" in Valentino Rossi.

Having held an early advantage, Kubica dropped behind Rossi on Saturday before overturning the deficit by winning the two stages on the final day on Sunday. Kubica explained that his tyre choice was to blame for losing 4-1 to Rossi on the second day but was happy to come out on top against the MotoGP star who was seeking his fourth Monza Rally victory.

"We took the same tyres but I knew already after the first loop that I was quicker than him, for some reason he did not have the same pace as before," said Kubica. "I'm very pleased to win, especially for all the guys at the A Style team.

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"[On Saturday] we took the wrong tyre choice, which was too hard, but [Sunday] it was just right. Throughout this rally the tyre choice was very complicated because of the mixed conditions but we managed to get it right most of the time and enjoy a really good fight against a fantastic driver like Valentino, so I am very happy."

Kubica finished this year's WRC championship in 16th place in the standings, while Rossi was runner-up to Marc Marquez in MotoGP.