WRC organizers announced earlier this year that the 2020 season, disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, will end December 3-6 with the Monza Rally. The event has notably hosted MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi in recent years, who has won it seven times in total.
This year, the one who considers him as his mentor, Franco Morbidelli, will participate in the WRC3 category, driving a Hyundai i20 R5. “I am electrified by the chance to participate in a real round of the World Rally Championship”, did he declare. “It will be an incredible chance to be among the best drivers in the world and to compete in a different sport.”
“It will still be a lot of fun, I will have to learn a lot of details quickly and it will not be easy to adapt to two additional wheels in such a short time. When Matteo Ballarin [le président WITHU, le sponsor de l’épreuve et de l’équipe de Morbidelli] called me, I didn’t think twice. These are opportunities that only present themselves a few times in a lifetime. I’m going to take a crash course with Umberto Scandola to be as ready as possible during the first test. “
Hyundai Rally Team Italia manager added: “The ACI Rally de Monza will probably be the most watched moment of the entire WRC season and a historic moment for this discipline. Our WRC program with WITHU has often changed for the reasons we all know, but finishing the season in Monza and also with Franco Morbidelli is going to be extraordinary. “
“We are working hard to give Franco confidence in what will be his office for four days. His approach during Riders Meet Rally has been very analytical and precise. It’s going to be a big challenge for the whole team, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be fun as well. “
Morbidelli’s third season in MotoGP is one of revelation, with the Petronas SRT rider having signed three victories – like his teammate Fabio Quartararo – riding the 2019 Yamaha. The Italian enters the last round of the 2020 season in second place of the drivers classification.
Valentino Rossi had not ruled out taking part in Rally Monza when it was announced as the WRC final, while indicating at the time that there was no plan in place to do so.