Valentino Rossi and his younger brother Luca Marini won the seventh edition of the 100 km dei Campioni dirt track team race on Sunday, which was held on Rossi’s MotoRanch in Tavullia.
The pair hosted Elia Bartolini and Stefano Manzi, while Mattia Pasini and teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri completed an all-Italian podium.
42 riders or 21 couples attended the event, including not only many of the ranch regulars, but also current MotoGP stars Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins, as well as Rossi’s former arch-rival Jorge Lorenzo and American supercross legend Jeremy McGrath – both made theirs Debuts.
Franco Morbidelli and Francesco Bagnaia did not ride, but VR46 Academy’s MotoGP colleague Marini had won individual honors in Saturday’s ‘Americana’ elimination race ahead of older brother Rossi, Celestino Vietti and Stefano Manzi.
Sunday’s main race began with a traditional long-distance start with a run to the bikes, with Avintia Moto3 rider Bartolini taking the early lead ahead of Rossi and Pasini.
The race was driven over 50 laps and a driver changed every 5 laps. There were a lot of twists and turns, not least a crash for Marini in his second stint. However, the MotoGP rookie 2021 secured victory with a pass to Manzi with 12 laps to go.
That decided the first two places, but the battle for third place between Pasini – Baldassarri and Bezzecchi – Migno almost went to the finish, 2022 MotoGP rider Bezzecchi fell just a few kilometers from the checkered flag.
VR46 riders Niccolò Antonelli and Celestino Vietti finished fifth ahead of Moto2 rival Augusto Fernandez and Brazilian Red Bull Rookies Cup rider Diogo Moreira, who made an impressive debut at the MotoRanch.
The Italians Alberto Surra and Federico Fuligni followed on P7 in front of Alex Rins – Albert Arenas and Tito Rabat – Xavi Artigas. Jorge Lorenzo and Moto3 runner-up Dennis Foggia completed the top ten.
Aprilia MotoGP’s Vinales and former Tech3 KTM rider Iker Lecuona finished 13th.
- Rossi – Marini
- Bartolini – Manzi
- Pasini – Baldassarri
- Bezzecchi – Migno
- Antonelli – Vietti
- Fernández – Moreira
- spanking – sooty
- Kidney arenas
- Rabat – Artigas
- Lorenzo – Foggia
- Patacca – Farioli
- By Giannantonio – Cecchini
- Lecuona – Vinales
- Nepa – Ortola
- Davies – McPhee
- Bertelle – Zannoni
- Belli – Gramigni
- McGrath – Zaccone
- Casadei – Ferrari
- Manfredi – Bassani
- Ottaviani – Serra
Next: Golf 12 hours
After his last MotoGP race in Valencia last month, Rossi will now turn his attention to the Gulf 12 Hours sports car race in Abu Dhabi, where the Italian will again work with Marini and Alessio ‘Uccio’ Salucci and drive a Kessel-operated Ferrari 488 GT3 the Pro-Am class.
The trio won the Pro-Am class and finished third overall on their 12-hour golf debut on the same Yas Marini circuit, then finished second in class and fourth overall at last year’s Bahrain event.
With sports cars replacing MotoGP as Rossi’s main racing focus in 2022, but the exact series is still unclear until he can better understand his speed and potential, the nine-time world champion will certainly take the golf event more seriously than before.
This was underlined during a test day with all three drivers in Misano at the beginning of November.