Red Bull KTM factory rider Marc Coma coasted into Valparaiso, Chile, on Saturday afternoon to pick up his fourth individual Dakar title and to secure KTM’s thirteenth title in this most toughest of rallies. Factory teammate Jordi Viladoms made it a memorable day for the Austrian manufacturer by finishing second overall.
Factory teammate Jordi Viladoms made it a memorable day for the Austrian manufacturer by finishing second overall.
It was perhaps Coma’s finest victory in his Dakar Career as he led the overall standings from Stage Five. He completed the 13-stage, near 9,000 km course in 54 hours 50.53, almost two hours ahead of second placed Viladoms.
Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma finished in fifth in Stage 10 of the 2014 Dakar Rally, preserving his overall lead in this annual motorsports epic. The KTM factory rider now has a 44-minute 10 lead over second placed Joan Barreda.
Red Bull KTM’s Jordi Viladoms was eleventh in the stage and is still at overall third with a 14-minute advantage over Frenchman Olivier Pain.
Coma said it had not been an easy day and despite the margin of his lead, he is still cautious. When asked if he was already thinking about a possible victory he said: “No, if we start to think like that we’re in the wrong direction. We have to stay focused all the time. We have two very tough days, especially tomorrow. It is 600 km and the longest special of the rally and everything is possible.”
Coma started the day with a 55 minute 36 second lead over second placed Barreda after his rival picked up a 15-minute penalty overnight. Coma’s teammate Jordi Viladoms went into the stage at third with his closest challenge coming from Jeremias Esquerre of Chile. But today was the end of the Dakar for Esquerre who crashed out and had to withdraw.
Viladoms said at the end of the stage that it had been a tough day and navigation had been an issue. “I got lost twice and I lost some time so now we must push one hundred present if we want to keep this position. Fourteen minutes is nothing at the Dakar so we must work really hard for these three days. The most important thing is that I don’t make mistakes and then I can keep this position.”
It was a good day for KTM-supported rider Kuba Przygonski of Poland who finished in sixth for his best performance so far in this rally and is seventh overall. KTM Team Manager Alex Doringer said earlier in the week that Kuba was learning a lot from being in close contact with Coma this year and it was showing in the quality of his riding.
Przygonski after Stage 10: “The battle is from the beginning to the end and we have three more days to go. We have 600 km tomorrow and it will be a really tough stage. We’ll see what happens.”
Riders faced Wednesday’s special in two stages in sands of the Atacama Desert. The first took them on a descent down to the shores of the shores of the Pacific for the first 200 km but then the second part had its share of the fine and unpredictable dust called fesh-fesh at they headed along twisting and turning mining tracks on their way to the bivouac in Antofagasta.
KTM-supported rider Riaan van Niekerk of South Africa, riding in his second Dakar, is on a steep learning curve. He said navigation was key in the first part of the stage when riders were in the dunes. “There was quite a lot of fesh-fesh and its not nice at all. You’re in the dust and getting tired. As soon as you try to push you make a mistake. That’s what makes the Dakar. Its not the beginning, its trying to get to the finish.”
A fresh challenge awaits the riders on Thursday in Stage 11 from Antofagasta to El Salvador where they will be on their bikes for 749 km, 605 km of which is the timed special, the longest of this year’s rally. It will be a key stage and even the fastest of the motorcyclists can expect to be riding for around seven hours.
Results Stage 10 (unofficial)
Iquique to Antofagasta – 58 km liaison, 631 km special = 689 km
1, Joan Barreda, ESP, Honda 4 hours 42.00
2, Helder Rodrigues, PRT, Honda at 8.00
3, Cyril Despres, FRA, Yamaha at 9.40
4, Olivier Pain, FRA, Yamaha at 11.11
5, Marc Coma, ESP, KTM at 11.26
Other KTM 6, Kuba Przygonski, POL, KTM at 15.08
7, Stefan Svitko, SVK, KTM at 15.14
9, Ivan Jakes, SVK, KTM at 18.17
11, Jordi Viladoms, ESP, KTM at 19.27 12, Riaan van Niekerk, ZAF, KTM at 23.29
17, David Casteu, FRA, KTM 29.57
Overall after Stage 9
1, Coma, 41 hours 48.33
2, Barreda at 44.10
3, Villadoms at 2:02.03
4, Pain at 2:16.12
5, Rodrigues at 2:21.16
7, Przygonski at 2:29.15
9, Svitko at 3:33.07
10, Casteu at 3:41.54 11, Jakes at 4:12.49
12, Van Niekerk at 4:29.51
Red Bull KTM’s three-time winner of the world’s toughest rally on Tuesday bagged his second stage win in this year’s edition of the Dakar. Coma finished ahead of Joan Barreda and old rival Cyril Despres to edge further ahead in the overall standings as the competition enters Chile.
Coma, who has been suffering from a cold these past days felt better on Tuesday and delivered a great controlled ride, taking over the lead in the latter part of the stage. He said at the finish it had been “very fast and very nice”. He is now in front by 40 minutes 19.
Coma’s factory teammate Jordi Viladoms also had a good day to finish sixth and consolidate his third overall position. He now has a good 30-minute advantage over fourth placed Chilean rider Esquerre.
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ryan Dungey picked up a podium third in the 450-class Round 2 of the Monster Energy Supercross at Phoenix on Saturday night after a hard fought battle where he led for most of the race.
Teammate Ken Roczen of Germany was sixth, following up on a win in the opening round and American Andrew Short, now back on a KTM was seventh. Dungey and Roczen are 2-3 in the points after two rounds.
In the 250 class (West Coast) Jason Anderson, riding the Rockstar KTM picked up his second win to leave Phoenix with a perfect scorecard while Red Bull KTM’s rookie rider Dean Ferris of Australia was a creditable seventh in only his second SX ride.
Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma of Spain finished second in Stage Seven of the Dakar rally on Sunday to continue to lead in the overall standings by a substantial 38 minutes 14 seconds from Joan Barreda of Spain. Red Bull KTM’s Jordi Viladoms moved up to third overall as the Rally moves into its second week.
The 2014 edition of the Dakar Rally was billed at the outset as longer, harder and tougher. The first half of this annual motorsports test of strength for both man and machine have lived up to its reputation in every way.
As riders and teams settled into Salta in Argentina’s Andean foothills for the one day of respite in this 9,000 km epic, it was time to gather strength and assess what has been a very tough and eventful first half.
For the Red Bull KTM Factory team, bidding for its thirteenth Dakar title this year, it has been mixed fortunes so far. Three-time Dakar winner Marc Coma has performed to his usual high standard and leads at the half way mark by an impressive 42.17 minutes.
Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma rode another competent stage in the 2014 edition of the Dakar Rally on Friday to complete the first half of this grueling race with a 42.17-minute lead in the overall standings. Coma was second in Stage Six, just one minute 15 behind leader Alain Duclos of France.
Coma, a three times Dakar winner, said later he was content with the stage, which had not been easy. “It is true that we did not have the same extreme conditions of the previous days. This allowed us to tackle the stage in a less demanding way. But in any case, it was still a special 400 km with some navigation and 15 km of extreme enduro, which complicated things quite a lot.”
Red Bull KTM factory rider and three-times Dakar winner Marc Coma rose to the occasion on Thursday during yet another very difficult day to claim his first stage victory in the 2014 Dakar Rally. Coma led in teammate Jordi Viladoms and KTM supported rider Kuba Przygonski allowing KTM to scoop the top three places.
Coma said it had been another difficult day: “I opened ninety percent of the stage today. Everything was running well but it was soft sand and very technical and when you’re on the camel grass it is tough. At the end of the last part it was very difficult to find the finish line. I got to another river and had to cut back to find the correct one. But in the end it was good.”
Coma, who moved into second behind the leader Barreda on Wednesday by just three minutes has now taken control of the overall lead after winning the stage more than 12 minutes in front of Viladoms. He leads the overall standings by 41 minutes 10 from Barreda.
Red Bull KTM Factory riders Chaleco Lopez of Chile and Spain’s Marc Coma had a good day out in Stage 4 of the Dakar 2014, finishing 2-3 in the stage. Coma has moved up to second overall and trails by only 3 minutes 10 and Lopez is in third overall, 5.12 behind the leader.
As predicted, the second half of the first marathon stage was a matter of survival as riders nursed their bikes home after no mechanical assistance and no fresh tires overnight.
Lopez had a great day, finishing only 29 seconds behind the stage winner, Joan Pedrero. Coma, who is bidding for his fourth Dakar title, trimmed the gap to overall leader, Barreda of Spain, to just 3 minutes 10 seconds.