2011 Dakar: Coma Rethinks Strategy

2011 Dakar News

After receiving a six-hour penalty and being knocked out of contention in the 2010 Dakar, Spain’s Marc Coma spent a portion of his year searching for an ideal solution for a victorious return.

Getting back to basics was on level par with the deception experienced at the end of the 2010 Dakar, which concluded with a 15th place result aboard the KTM, the worst finish in his career, excluding retirements.

KTM rider Marc Coma will line up for the start in Buenos Aires with one objective, victory. But the system he will use has been re-thought.

While the rules have been changed with all the elite riders, now riding 450cc bikes, the more important change for the Catalan concerns his entourage. Gone is Jordi Arcarons, who had been alongside Coma since the debut of his career.

This year, former teammate, Giovanni Sala, still quite active behind the scenes at KTM, will determine race strategy.

The Italian, winner of nine stages and third overall on the 2006 Dakar was enthralled by Coma’s proposition.

Giovanni Sala says: "He called me to ask what I was doing in January. I wasn’t expecting it but naturally I accepted straight away. I have never occupied this role in a team before but it is very motivating and I want to do the best job I can."

While he ventured to Italy to seek out help, the two-time Dakar champion also respected tradition and turned to the ever improving valour in Catalonia.

Coma signed Juan Pedrero to a three-year contract, who will begin in the role of rapid assistance. Finishing 49th in his maiden Dakar in 2009, then 10th last year, Pedrero clearly has the necessary talent to follow his leader and lend a hand if needed.

Juan Pedrero says: "Having finished my first two Dakars as well as my mechanic capabilities convinced him that I could provide strong support. I have proven he can trust me."

The riders in this quest to get back on the winning track seem ready to get back into action. "Everything has been decided to go for the win", concludes Coma.