Seeing Valentino Rossi in rear-view mirror surreal, says ERC Junior Yates
Podium-scoring FIA ERC Junior Rhys Yates has described competing against MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi – his childhood hero – as a surreal experience following his Monza Rally Show top 10 on Sunday.
Yates, who landed a podium on his ERC Junior debut on the Azores Airlines Rallye last March, was making his second appearance at the Italian Grand Prix venue’s traditional season closer, which Rossi won for a seventh time.
After driving an R5-specification Ford Fiesta to P18 overall at Monza in 2017, Yates stepped up to the World Rally Car version of the car last weekend and claimed a fine ninth overall with experienced French co-driver Denis Giraudet.
“Yet again the Monza Rally Show never fails to amaze me and what a great way to return to the event with a top-10 result,” said Brettex-backed Yates.
“The crowds and atmosphere are sensational but the real honour is being able to compete alongside my childhood heroes like Valentino Rossi. It was pretty surreal heading through Ascari and looking in my rearview mirror to see Rossi chasing me down.
“It’s been a real honour to compete [at Monza] once again so huge thanks to HK Racing for the car and of course to Denis for stepping into the co-driver’s seat again. It’s certainly been a weekend I really won’t forget in a hurry.”