2012 Dakar Prep
After taking his third Dakar Rally win last year with a dominating performance aboard the KTM 450 Rally, Marc Coma is currently prepping for a hopeful-fourth win.
The 2012 Dakar Rally, which begins Jan. 1 in Mal Del Plata, Argentina, and ends in Lima, Peru, Jan. 15, will be the 35-year-old Spaniard's tenth appearance in the toughest rally in the world.
Throughout the 2012 Dakar Rally, Coma and his "water carrier" Juan Pedrero will complete nearly 5,600 miles, with half of those timed, as they cross South America in 14 stages; this year's rally only has one rest day in Chile.
For 2012, Coma will compete MRW Red Bull AMV KTM 450 Rally. Following is an interview with Coma, as he discusses the 2012 Dakar Rally.
Q. What do you expect in this 2012 Dakar edition?
Marc Coma says: "I think this year will be the most African edition since the race change continent. What we were able to see shows that it changes to be a linear race with Finish in Lima, Peru's capital. It seems that until the last day the scenery we will have will be the desert, very similar to what we remember from the African race."
Q. To face a race like the Dakar, how important is it to be in a team like the MRW Red Bull AMV Team?
Mar Coma says: "After a first edition with Joan [Pedrero], where we did a great team work, I think it is the moment to confirm it. Last year we achieved a great victory and we hope we can repeat it. It is difficult, but with the help of the team and a good set-up for the bike, we have chances to repeat that victory."
Q. This will be your tenth Dakar. How has ‘Marc Coma' evolved as a rider during these years?
Marc Coma says: "Ten years are a lot of time. They pass very fast, but they are a lot of time. Both as a person and as athlete I have been progressing and growing and now I have a lot more experience. I think we are in a good moment and now is time to gather the fruits of all these years."
Q. Will you train again with the bike before the start of the Dakar?
Marc Coma says: "That depends a bit on the weather, if the conditions are favourable we will take advantage of them, but the work is mostly finished. The aim is not to lose the physical level and that the bike mechanisms are active."
Q. Why do you prepare the Dakar in Morocco?
Marc Coma says: "Morocco is the ideal place to train because we can simulate all the conditions we will find in the Dakar. It also allows us to do many kilometers of desert, it is relatively close and the weather is much better than in Spain at this time of the year. The most important point is that there are also dunes, a terrain impossible to find in Spain. We are just a month away from the Dakar and in Spain is difficult to train because the weather conditions are more complicated. It is a time we always go there because we are calmed and can focus on the training. There are many kilometers of desert and dunes where we try to find all the terrains we must face in South America."
Q. Have you got any memories from this place?
Marc Coma says: "The first time I saw and rode on dunes was here, in Merzouga. It used to be a mythical part of the Dakar route. It is a place where it used to be a lot of public. A very special place with an amazing scenery, so it is nice to come back and train in that area of Morocco."
Q. The sand is similar to the one you will find in South America?
Marc Coma says: "The sand in South America is slightly different, but on the whole this one is ok and it is very useful to train, as we can ride on dunes very similar to the ones we will find at the Dakar."