Marc Coma Biography
A few years ago, an intruder sneaked into the Dakar elite. He was a beginner. An unknown name for the “Africans”, although the Spanish Enduro scene had already experienced Marc Coma’s talent.
On an experimental motorbike called the CSV and sponsored by Carlos Sotelo, Coma finished the muddy European prologues in sixth place. In Africa he managed to finish among the top twenty, and on the day his bike broke down he was setting the tenth fastest time of the stage.
The following year, in 2003, and part of the official KTM structure, with Nani Roma and Isidre Esteve as team-mates and with the support of Repsol YPF, Coma got his first chance to race a Dakar with a good bike and he didn’t waste the opportunity.
Riding his single-cylinder in the middle of a pack full of fast and powerful twin-cylinder bikes, Coma more than achieved his objective by finishing the Dakar in 11th position with four third places in different stages.
Marc Coma, motorbike rider from his earliest years, had a racing background at home. His father, Ricard, managed to finish fifth in the Spanish Senior Motocross Championship.
There was always a motorbike at home. Both his father and his uncle were big fans and this tradition was passed on to little Marc. The first bike he rode was a Montesa Cota 348 under the guidance of his uncle at the age of 8.
While he was still learning, Marc used every moment that his uncle did not have an eye on him to get on the Cota and disappear onto the mountain tracks around his home.
After his uncle’s trial bike he got his own, a Puch Cobra 74 with which he had his first “races” with his friends in his hometown. Then, as long as he got good grades at school, he got a motocross Honda CR 125 and he began to take part in his first real races.
These first races were followed by county championships, regional championships and finally the national championship. He dedicated himself to this specialty up to the age of 18 but Marc didn’t see his future on the circuits, so before giving up and looking for a normal job he thought he would try his luck in Enduro. Marc had already made up his mind that he wanted to try and become a professional rider.
From that moment on Marc focused on Enduro and his first victories and success arrived quickly. In 1995, Coma became Spanish Junior Champion in the Over 175cc class on a 250cc KTM.
After that Marc joined the National Enduro Team and got a silver medal at the following year`s World Enduro Championship. That result was followed by several other brilliant results in the following years, such as 4th place in the European Senior Enduro Championship, the under 23 Enduro World Championship, the Enduro World Championship for Nations and 3rd place in the Enduro World Championship for Nations.
But the Dakar had already caught his eye and in 2002 Carlos Sotelo, a former Dakar rider, offered Marc the chance to ride a bike that had been built by Sotelo himself, the CSV – with a Suzuki single-cylinder engine in the Arras-Madrid-Dakar.
As long as the bike and the mechanical parts lasted Marc had an incredible experience and even managed to clinch a sixth place on one of the initial stages. He couldn’t finish the race, but the Dakar had him hooked. That same season he tried his luck at the Baja Aragón and in his first participation he finished second.
Marc Coma Career highlights
2010: 15th Rally Dakar (4 stage victories)
1st Rally Abu Dhabi
2nd Rally Tunisia
1st Rally Sardinia
1st Rally Dos Sertoes
1st Pharaoh’s Rally
Cross Country Rally World Champion
2009: Winner of the Dakar Rally
1st Rally Abu Dhabi
2nd Rally Tunisia
1st Rally Moroco
2008: Central Europe Rally (Retired)
4th Rally Dos Sertoes
1st Baja España Aragón
3rd PAX Rally
17th UAE Desert Challenge (breakdown on the penultimate stage when he was leading)