Valentino Rossi may have suffered his first winless MotoGP season as a Yamaha rider, but he at least ended 2018 on top of a podium courtesy of his latest victory in the Monza Rally.

The Italian clinched his seventh win at the event, and fourth in a row, by beating nearest rival Teemu Suninen by a dominant 1m 7.2s.

Rossi and co-driver Carla Cassina won eight of the nine asphalt stages - and were tied for victory with Finnish rally star Suninen in the other!

The top four drivers - Rossi, Suninen, Roberto Brivio (brother of Davide) and Alessio Salucci ('Uccio') - were all racing Ford Fiesta WRC Plus cars.

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However it wasn't a completely perfect event for Rossi, who lost out to nine time Motocross grand prix champion Toni Cairoli by 0.59s in the final of the head-to-head 'Master Show' competition.

At the wheel of a Hyundai I20 WRC, Cairoli was also the top non-Ford WRC driver in the overall standings, with fifth place.

AMA Supercross/Motocross star Chad Reed was 28th, also driving a Hyundai.

Rossi - who held off team-mate Maverick Vinales for third in this year's MotoGP standings despite a winless season - will be back on his Yamaha M1 for the start of 2019 testing at Sepang in February.

2018 Monza Rally Show:

1. Valentino Rossi/Carlo Cassina (FORD FIESTA WRC PLUS) 1h 13m 8.7s
2. Teemu Suninen/Marko Salminen (FORD FIESTA WRC PLUS) +1m 7.2s
3. Roberto Brivio/Luca Brivio (FORD FIESTA WRC PLUS) +2m 3.0s
4. Alessio Salucci/Mitia Dotta (FORD FIESTA WRC PLUS) +2m 18.1s
5. Antonio Cairoli/Eleonora Mora (HYUNDAI I20 WRC) +2m 52.4s
6. Marco Bonanomi/Gigi Pirollo (FORD FIESTA WRC) +2m 53.2s

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