After a disappointing opening MotoGP round in Qatar, Valentino Rossi debuted in the three hour Blancpain Endurance Series at the wheel of a Ferrari 458. In difficult circumstances he finished 18th at Monza, almost two minutes behind the winner Maxime Martin.
The worsening weather conditions and the frequent introduction of the safety car following the many accidents, didn’t allow them to comeback any more than they did.
The pair (Rossi and best friend Alessio ‘Uccio’ Salucci) had qualified tenth overall out of the 55 drivers with a best lap time 2.8sec from pole, putting them fifth in the Pro-Am class and within 0.8sec of the top Pro-Am car.
The pole-sitters from last year laid down an early marker that they would again be at the sharp end of the grid in 2012.
Ferrari and Porsche had three cars in the top 10 at the close of the day with 11 brands battling for overall domination in the series in 2012. McLaren, BMW and Mercedes were also stalking the front-runners.