Ford boss delighted with Rossi

Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson praised Valentino Rossi's performance after the MotoGP champion came home 12th in the Wales Rally GB

Ford boss delighted with Rossi

Rossi had to lower his expectations for the event due to the extremely treacherous conditions this weekend, and made a very conservative start to the rally when the stages were at their most icy on Friday morning.

But he then increased his pace as he acclimatised to the car and the stages, and although he was 13 minutes adrift of the victorious Sebastien Loeb at the finish, Rossi was matching World Rally Championship regulars Matthew Wilson and Conrad Rautenbach by this morning.

"There has been so much excitement with Valentino in the team and his presence here has been a massive boost to the squad," said Wilson.

"His times today have been remarkable."

Rossi declared himself satisfied with his performance, and felt he had been wise to adopt a cautious approach.

"I'm very happy today, firstly to finish the rally and secondly to set some very good times on the four stages today," he said.

"The car was fantastic and I was finding it easy to drive when we got a precise setting.

"My approach here was to take the race step-by-step and try not to make any mistakes and this worked well. I think this rally was very difficult and finishing it makes me very happy indeed."

Although the result was not as good as his 11th place in his last WRC appearance in New Zealand two years ago, Rossi's performance in Wales was significantly more competitive, as he had been 20 minutes off the pace in 2006.

This weekend also erased unhappy memories of the 2002 Rally GB, when Rossi crashed in the first fully-fledged stage on his first attempt at a WRC event.

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