2012 Dakar Rally
The world’s most successful KTM Dakar riders, Marc Coma and Cyril Despres, took the top-two spots Monday in Stage Two.
Coma and Despres, who both have three-wins apiece in the Dakar Rally, finished 1-2 in Stage Two, respectively.
The Spaniard Coma, who pilots the MRW Red Bull AMV KTM 450 Rally, finished the stage 1:18 ahead of the Frenchman Despres. With his victory, he also moved ahead of Stage-One winner, Team Aprilia’s Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez, in the overall standings; Coma leads Lopez by 2:30 after two of 14 stages.
During Stage Two, the rider left Santa Rosa, Argentina, and raced over some hard terrain towards the Sierra Nevadas. The 2012 Dakar route then took the motorcyclists through dunes and soft, grey volcanic sands at El Nihuil. All together, the Dakar competitors had a 182 miles of a timed stage from Santa Rosa to San Rafael, Argentina.
Coma said the first part of the timed special had been very fast as he rode together with Lopez, a prelude to the difficult ride in the soft sand.
Marc Coma (MRW Red Bull AMV KTM 450 Rally) says: “It was a lot more technical and with some navigation to do as well. I took the lead and kept riding at a good pace. I’m happy because I didn’t get lost. So, it’s been a good day for me!”
Finishing 13th in Stage One, Despres returned to the top, becoming an immediate challenge to his teammate and rival Coma.
KTM says: “Finishing second to Coma on Day Two was a confidence builder, Despres said, even if he had to eat a bit of dust while overtaking other riders in the opening part of the ride. He managed the difficult soft sand at the end of the special, which he said had not been easy but, like Coma, said it had been ‘a good day.’”
KTM reports its two other factory riders, Joan Pedrero of Spain, whose task it is to be the support rider for Marc Coma, and Rubin Faria of Portugal, who performs the same role for Cyril Despres, finished the second stage in tenth and 15th place respectively and are ninth and thirteenth in the overall standings.
Pedrero is 11:45 behind Coma in the overall standings and Faria trails the leader by 14:40. Also well placed are KTM riders Jakub Przgonski of Poland and evergreen Pal Anders Ullevalseter of Norway who occupy fourth and eighth place in the overalls.
As for KTM’s Dakar rookies, Johnny Aubert of the KTM Enduro Factory Team is in 20th overall after Stage two and Chris Birch of New Zealand who rides in extreme Enduro events for KTM is 31st.
On Tuesday, Stage Three in 2012 Dakar will start in San Rafael and end in San Juan and the ascent into the high altitude Andes, taking the riders North as they race parallel to the great mountain range.
KTM says: “Concentration will be an issue with another testing day’s ride as they climb higher into the mountain region. Organizers have promised that this year’s route will be one of surprise challenges where difficult parts will come at unexpected times and endurance will be demanded throughout the rally.”
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2012 Dakar Rally: Stage Two Results
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 3:07.21
2. Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 1:18
3. Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 2:33
4. Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia at 2:44
5. Jakub Przgonski, Poland, KTM at 4:17
7. Pal Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, at 9:11
10. Joan Pedrero, Spain, at 9:35
11. Jordi Villadoms, Spain, 9:59
14. Gerrard Farres Guel, Spain, at 12:35
15. Rubin Faria, Portugal, at 13:36
16. Felipe Zanol, Brazil, at 14:21
17. Jacek Czachor, Poland, at 14:33
18. Alessandro Botturi, Italy, at 15:32
20. Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, at 16:30
22. Johnny Aubert, France, at 17:56
30. Chris Birch, New Zealand, at 24:24
2012 KTM Overall Results after Stage Two
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 3 hours 40 minutes 12 seconds
2. Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia at 2:30
3. Cyril Despres, France, KTM at 2:52
4. Jakub Przgonski, Poland, KTM at 4:32
5. Joan Barreda Bort, Spain, Husqvarna at 8:16