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Monday, December 8, 2008

Rossi’s performance praised by WRC stars

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Valentino Rossi’s 12th place finish on Wales Rally GB has been applauded by WRC drivers Sebastien Loeb and Jari-Matti Latvala and Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson.

The Italian MotoGP star and his co-driver Carlo Cassina drove a Stobart-backed Ford Focus RS WRC in the event and showed steadily improving pace throughout the weekend.

After ending Friday’s first day of the competition in 24th position, the pair made up 12 places on Saturday and Sunday, eventually finishing three and a half minutes outside the top ten.

“I’m very happy, firstly to finish the rally and secondly to set some very good times on Sunday’s four stages,” said Rossi. “The car was fantastic and I was finding it easy to drive when we got a precise setting. My approach was to take the race step-by-step and try not to make any mistakes and this worked well. I think this rally was very difficult and finishing it makes me very happy indeed. It’s been fantastic working with the Stobart team; they are all very friendly and hopefully we will get a chance to work again together.”

Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson said: “There has been so much excitement with Valentino in the team and his presence has been a massive boost to the squad; his times on Sunday were remarkable.”

Jari-Matti Latvala thought Rossi’s careful approach to the rally has been the right one. “For me Valentino did a good job,” said the Finn. “I remember when he was here the first time, because it was my first World Rally in 2002, and I had a feeling that year that there was too much pressure for him to suddenly arrive and do a great performance.

Video from this rally

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