Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma on Saturday won the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil by a margin of three minutes 23 second after seven hard fought stages. The win consolidates Coma’s lead in the FIM World Cross Country Rally Championship in the fifth of six rounds.
Coma, a Red Bull athlete won the rally from Paolo Goncalves of Portugal while Brazilian rider Joan Azevedo took the minor podium place. Red KTM’s Spanish rider took three stage wins and led the overall standings from the end of Stage One to the finish.
The rally was particularly tight but on Thursday Coma had finally edged ahead of Goncalves by a margin of seven minutes. He then had to open the track on the penultimate stage on Friday and his margin of lead dropped to four minutes. Friday, Coma said, was the key to the rally, a stage that required particular attention, as it was the second half of the marathon stage. At the end of Stage Six he said it had been important to control the race and deploy conservative tactics, because navigation was difficult.
Coma finished second in the final stage but maintained the advantage in the overall standings, proving that conquering the event was not just about riding fast but also about riding smart.
Marc Coma: “Today was a long had day, especially with the pressure of being in the lead. This is a very hard rally to win and the level of the riders is very high. Paolo (Goncalves) was pushing all the time so I’m very happy with the final results. I came into the rally with a lead of 10 points in the World Championship and it will be good to go to the final round in Morocco with a bigger cushion. Morocco is a very hard rally and we know that anything can happen there. It will be good to be going with confidence after this win.”
Coma has only won the Rally dos Sertoes on one other occasion, in 2010.
KTM factory rider and Coma’s teammate Jordi Viladoms of Spain rode a solid rally to finish fifth overall, some 26 minutes 37 off the winning pace. Britain’s Sam Sunderland, the factory team rookie finished sixth at 33.37, including a one-minute penalty. The third factory rider, Portugal’s Ruben Faria was eighth overall trailing by 46.36, including a 13-minute penalty and finished on a high note with a fourth place in the final stage. French KTM rider David Casteu finished ninth overall to give KTM five in the top 10 finishers.
The KTM factory team riders compete on the KTM 450 Rally bike.
Coma’s journey to victory in the Rally dos Sertoes:
He led the overall standings in the rally from the end of Stage One:
Stage 1 – first place
Stage 2 – third
Stage 3 – first
Stage 4 – second
Stage 5 – first
Stage 6 – third
Stage 7 – second
Stage Seven Results
From Diamantina to Belo Horizonte
1, Paolo Goncalves, POR, Honda, 1:34.57
2, Marc Coma, ESP, KTM 1:36.11
3, Jean Azevedo, BRA, Honda, 1:36.47
4, Ruben Faria, POR, KTM, 1:38.29
5, Helder Rodrigues, POR, Honda, 1:38.40
6, Jordi Viladoms, ESP, KTM, 1:39.41
7, David Casteu, FRA, KTM, 1:39.56
8, Sam Sunderland, GBR, KTM 1:39.59
Final overall results after Stage Seven
1, Coma, KTM 18 hours 21.51 (overall win to extend lead in 2014 World Championship)
2, Goncalves at 3 minutes 23
3, Azevedo at 14.05
4, Rodrigues at 21.46
5, Viladoms, KTM, at 26.37
6, Sunderland, KTM at 33.37 (1 minute penalty)
8, Faria, KTM at 46.36 (13 minutes penalty)
9, Casteu, KTM at 47.35 (6 minutes penalty)