Morbidelli to contest WRC Rally Monza in a Hyundai

Three-time MotoGP race winner Franco Morbidelli will take part in next month’s World Rally Championship finale at Rally Monza with Hyundai Rally Team Italia.

Morbidelli to contest WRC Rally Monza in a Hyundai

WRC organisers announced earlier this year its coronavirus-affected 2020 season would be brough to a close on December 3-6 with the ACI Rally Monza event.

Rally Monza has typically featured MotoGP legend and Morbidelli’s mentor Valentino Rossi, who has won the event seven times over the years.

Morbidelli will take part in the WRC finale in the WRC3 class in a Hyundai i20 R5.

“I am electrified by the chance of taking part in a real round of the World Rally Championship,” Morbidelli said.

“This is going to be an amazing chance to be among the best drivers in the world and compete in a different sport. 

“This is going to be good fun though, I will have to learn quickly a lot of details and it is not going to be easy to adapt to two added wheels in such a short time.

“When Matteo Ballarin [WITHU President] called me I did not think twice about it. These are chances that happen a few times over a lifetime.

“I will follow a crash course from Umberto Scandola to reach the first test as ready as possible”.

Hyundai Rally Team Italia boss Riccardo Scandola added: “ACI Rally Monza is probably going to be the most followed moment of the whole WRC season and a historical moment for this discipline.

“Our program in WRC with WITHU changed often due to the reasons that we all know but ending the season in Monza also with Franco Morbidelli in the team is going to be extraordinary.

“We are working hard to allow Franco to get some confidence with what is going to be his office for four days.

“His approach at the Riders Meet Rally has been very analytic and precise.

“This is going to be a big challenge for the whole team, but I am pretty sure that it will also be good fun.”

Morbidelli’s third season in MotoGP has been a breakout campaign, with the Petronas SRT rider scoring three victories – equal with his teammate Fabio Quartararo – and doing so on the 2019-spec Yamaha.

The Italian comes into the final round of the 2020 MotoGP season second in the standings and ended Friday’s practice in Portugal 10th overall.

Mentor Rossi hadn’t ruled out competing at the Monza Rally when it was first announced as the WRC finale, but said at the time he had no plans to take part.

shares
comments

Related video

Rins to evaluate shoulder operation after MotoGP season ends

Previous article

Rins to evaluate shoulder operation after MotoGP season ends

Next article

Portimao MotoGP: Miller tops tight FP3 as Mir misses Q2 cut

Portimao MotoGP: Miller tops tight FP3 as Mir misses Q2 cut
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP , WRC
Event Rally Monza
Drivers Franco Morbidelli
Author Lewis Duncan
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021
The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season Prime

The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season

The 2020 World Rally Championship bestrode all 12 months of the Gregorian calendar, and in terms of the competition it was a cracker. Moreover, it was an inspiration in dark days for the world and our industry.

WRC
Jan 1, 2021
The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb Prime

The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb

A series of close calls in his formative years threatened to leave rallying's top echelon tantalisingly out of reach for the man who would go on to claim nine WRC titles. In an exclusive interview, Sebastien Loeb recalls the key steps on his road to dominance.

WRC
Dec 11, 2020