Sardegna Rally Race, RD4 FIM World Cross Countries Rally Championship
MARC COMA LAUNCHES HIS BID FOR VICTORY IN THE SARDEGNA RALLY RACE
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Marc Coma got off to a solid start in the opening stage of the Sardegna Rally Race, the fourth round in the FIM World Cross Countries Rally Championship on Sunday. He closed out his ride at the end of the day just 38 seconds behind the stage winner, fellow Spaniard Joan Pedrero.
Coma, the defending World Champion was fourth in Stage One and is also fourth in the overall standings after Saturday’s prologue and Sunday’s opening stage from Pula to Pula over a distance of 160.4 km under the clock. The first full day took riders over a total distance of 240 km on the Italian island of Sardinia.
KTM’s multi Dakar Rally winner completed the ride in three hours, 36 minutes and 43 seconds after starting in thirteenth place following the prologue, a difficult start over very dusty and rocky ground.
Coma, the title defender, already has two wins from the opening rounds of the World Championships but the Sardegna Rally Race is quite different to the conditions in the desert classics. This week’s rally has much more the characteristic of a complicated Enduro race and Coma is riding the KTM 450 EXC machine with a bigger capacity tank, instead of his usual KTM 450 RALLY bike.
Marc Coma: “Today was really difficult having to deal with all the dust from the front riders, and with the new navigation system that we use here it made it a bit more complicated. Anyway, it’s normal to have to get used to the new system and it will be okay from the second day. Tomorrow’s stage is very long, about 400 kilometers, and it will be one of the key days of the rally. We must be careful and not make the slightest mistake. In this rally you can go very fast but you have to remember that overtaking is really difficult.”
KTM Factory rider Matthias Walkner of Austria, who was the winner of the Prologue, finished behind Coma in fifth place in the stage and is also fifth in the overall standings just under two minutes behind the leader. Factory teammates Ruben Faria of Portugal and Jordi Viladoms of Spain were seventh and fourteenth respectively and are currently seventh and twelfth overall.
Stage Two takes riders from the towns of Pula and Fordongianus. It has two timed special stages of 105 and 85 km respectively.
The Sardegna Rally Race travels a total of 1,500 kilometers across the Island, from Pula in the southwest of the island to San Teodoro in the northeast. It is made up of five stages and nine timed specials and concludes on Thursday.
KTM Racing will file a full report at the end of the rally and the KTM Results Service each day.
Sardegna Rally Race
Round 4 of the FIM World Cross Countries Rally Championship
Stage 1 Pula to Pula 240 KM
Stage One Results
1, Joan Pedrero, ESP Sherco 3 hours 34.04.55
2, Armand Monleon KTM at 9.29
3, Paolo Goncalves, POR, Honda at 30.41
4, Marc Coma, ESP, KTM, at 38.15
5, Matthias Walkner, AUT, at 2:02.63
6, Jacopo Cerutti, ITA, Honda, at 4:08.07
7, Ruben Faria, POR, KTM, at 4:38.12
8, Alessandro Botturi, ITA, Yamaha, at 4:58.70
9, Vanni Cominotto, Husqvarna, at 5:12.33
10, Helder Rodrigues, POR, Yamaha, at 5:16.40
13. David Casteu, FRA, KTM, at 7:11.63
14, Jordi Viladoms, ESP, KTM, at 8:30.41
18, Pablo Quintanilla, BOL, KTM at 14.22.01
Overall after Prologue and Stage One
1, Pedrero, 3:37.50.17
2, Monleon, at 10.53
3, Goncalves at 30.23
4, Coma at 39.86
5, Walkner at 1:57.30
7, Faria at 4:38.91
12, Viladoms at 8:32.08
16, Quintanilla at 14:21.64
Pula to Fordongianus – 380 km
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