Rally of Tunisia
KTM factory rider Marc Coma attacked the final stage of the OilLibya Rally on Friday through tough desert conditions to make a heroic charge back to the front of the field to finish second overall behind Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez of Chile and snatch his third stage victory.
The Spaniard’s ride this week underlined why he is at the apex of his sport after a tyre incident just 40 km from the finish line of stage two left him with a 25-minute deficit on Lopez and stranded back in eighth place. He then settled down to close what seemed like an impossible gap and in the process won three stage victories and was second in a fourth.
But Marc was still looking down the barrel of a 20-minute gap going into the final stage on Friday, which he then proceeded to almost halve after what was a tough week’s ride over extreme desert conditions. "Everything went very well. It was a very complete Rally, with many dunes and navigation, and weather conditions that made things very complicated over the last few days," Coma told reporters.
He said he was pleased with his last stage win and the second place overall that allowed him to pick up valuable World Championship points. "We had another good race, with a good pace and despite the problems of the first few days we fought to the end and did a very good job. Today was particularly tough because, although the special wasn’t very long, the sand storm made it very difficult."
On Friday riders covered a 132 km special to the white erg of El Fouarto and then had to negotiate their way through soft and potentially treacherous white sand to wrap up the 2010 competition.
KTM riders made a good showing in the final shakeout with Jakub Przygonski of Poland piloting his KTM into third place overall, followed by his Polish teammate Jacek Czachor in fourth. In total, KTM riders took seven of the top ten places in the overall standings to underline the dominance of the Austrian-made offroad machines.
Overall Race Results
1. Francisco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia 16:59:52
2. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 11:06
3. Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM at 22:29
4. Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM at 01:29:30
5. David Casteu, France, Sherco at 01:34:22