Valentino Rossi 33rd after tough start to Rally GB

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Valentino Rossi is currently lying in 32nd position after the first two stages of the Wales Rally GB today.

Icy conditions forced the cancellation of the first special stage on safety grounds, with all stages planned for today shortened from 123km to 57.05km due to the tricky wintery conditions.

Sweet Lamb, venue for SS2, took place over 4.28km with Rossi 45th fastest in perilously icy conditions. Driving a Ford Focus WRC car, the Italian was 34.5s slower than fastest driver Sebastien Ogier from France, who was behind the wheel of a Citroen C4.

On the SS3 at Myherin run over 18.28km, Rossi posted the 32nd fastest time with a time of 15.46.1. That left the reigning MotoGP world champion and factory Yamaha rider 1m 15s adrift of early leader Ogier, who was fifth quickest on the stage, and down in 33rd overall.

Rossi, joined by co-driver Carlo Cassina said: “It’s just unbelievable! There’s lots of ice, but it’s still fun. It’s the worst rally conditions I’ve ever driven in…so far.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt