Copiapo to Chilecito
After a mistake by his nemesis, Marc Coma took victory Wednesday at Stage 10 of the 33rd edition of the Dakar Rally. Due to his win aboard the KTM Rally 450, Coma has now extended his overall Dakar lead to 18:10 over his main challenger, Cyril Despres.
Regardless of his mistake, Despres still took second in Stage 10, and was followed by his KTM teammate Ruben Faria.
Marc Coma (KTM Dakar) says: "It was another very difficult special. We know that Fiambala is one of the hardest days of the rally. There was a lot of navigation and a part with soft dunes. Then, in a dry river bed, it was just as complicated because it was difficult to navigate.
"We got a bit lost, but managed to find the right track and finish off decently. There are two very hard days left and the last special to think about as well. It’s always good to win, but there are still two days. Today, it was good right from the start. I was behind to start with, but I managed to ride the fastest."
Despres got out front early at Stage 10 of the 2011 Dakar, but the Frenchman navigated a wrong valley as he approached a series a dunes at the 97-km point of the race. After Despres left the company of Frans Verhoeven (BMW), he found himself on a rocky path, eventually becoming stuck in a dry river bed.
Cyril Despres says: "I made a first big mistake after 120 km whilst I was riding well. I read 17 instead of 117 on the navigation and I ended up in the rocks with Verhoeven. We already lost lots of time there, but then in the last few kilometers I made another mistake, turned round and fell into a mud hole.
"It was impossible to get back out, it took me ten minutes in all. I though I was going to lose even more time. It’s a bad day, but that’s rally raids for you, some days are good, some are bad."
During Stage 11 on Thursday, the motorcycle Dakar rider will go through a 722-km special after 164-km liason in the canyons at the foothills of the Andes. The riders will be challenged as they travel from Chilecito to San Juan.
Out of 186 motorcycles that started the 2011 Dakar, 103 remain.
2011 Dakar Rally Stage 10 Results
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 3:06:35
2. Cyril Despres, France, KTM, at 9:56
3. Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM, at 13:22
4. Miran Stanovnik, Slovenia, KTM at 21:26
5. Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia at 21:43
2011 Dakar Rally Standings after Stage 10
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 38:39:31
2. Cyril Despres, France, KTM, at 18:10
3. Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia at 45:16
4. Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, 1:24:37
5. Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM, at 1:34:42