KTM’s Marc Coma on Wednesday sealed victory in the Sardinia Rally to complete a hat trick of wins in this season’s FIM World Cross Country Rally Championship to have a perfect score card of 60 points.
With this win, KTM’s multiple Dakar Rally winner has laid the foundation to retain his title in the 2013 edition of the World Championships. The Spanish rider finished the five-stage rally a shade over seven minutes in front of Paolo Goncalves of Portugal and Joan Pedrero of Spain, making it a three way win for riders form the Iberian Peninsular. Coma’s old rival Cyril Despres was fourth.
The final day had a single timed special of 200 km and Coma said it had not been an easy win over the terrain that is more akin to Enduro riding than rally. He competed this time on the KTM 450 EXC and commented after the final leg: “200 km here in Sardinia is a bit like double that in the desert. It was four hours on the bike and it certainly wasn’t easy.” Coma was fifth in the final stage but his 9.5 minutes margin after Stage Four was enough to ensure the victory. His two KTM factory teammates Ruben Faria of Portugal and Jakub Przygonski of Poland finished 8 and 9 respectively.
Coma has little time to recover from the Sardinia Rally as the next leg in the World Championship, the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina, begins in 10 days time and runs from June 15-22.
(Final aggregate results)
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 15:54.20 (wins by 7 minutes 05)
2, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal, Honda 16:01.25
3, Joan Pedrero, Spain, Beta, 16:01.36
4, Cyril Despres, France, Yamaha, 16:01.47
5, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, Yamaha, 16:02.00
6, Andreas Mancini, Italy, Beta, 16:04.172:21.46
7, Paolo Ceci, Italy, Yamaha, 16:04.18
8, Ruben Faria, Portugal KTM, 16:18.15
9, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM, 16:38.24
10, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Honda, 16: 53.05
Images courtesy RallyZone