2012 Cross Country Rally Raid World Championship
Although MRW Repsol KTM’s Marc Coma only finished eight Thursday in Stage Four of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Round 1 of the 2012 Cross Country Rally Raid World Championship, he maintained the overall lead.
Going into Friday’s final stage, the Spaniard had a 6:34 lead over Joan Barreda.
Following Wednesday’s victory, Coma was the first out and was caught by his rivals in the Abu Dhabi dunes. Winning Wednesday’s longest stage and preserving the lead during Thursday’s 324-mile stage was all part of Coma’s strategy, and it worked.
He now has the lead, and an optimal start during Friday’s final stage. which will take the riders 226 miles, beginning with a eight-mile run, a 178-mile timed section, and a final 39-mile section to the finish line.
Marc Coma (MRW Repsol KTM 450 Rally) says: “After yesterday, which we knew was going to be key, today we had to try and control the race and not make any mistakes -nor risk encountering any problems. The stage developed in a similar way to previous days, principally in the open desert and with many dunes to tackle. It was a long stage, with almost five hours of special stage riding under temperatures of over 40ºC. That made it hugely demanding, so I am happy with where we finished.
“We still have tomorrow to go, with 287km of special stage ahead of us, and with it being the final day we have a very long route to take on. With the way that we are placed at the moment and bearing in mind the starting order for tomorrow, if we don’t have a disaster then we have this one sewn up. However, in such a long stage and with such tough conditions, we will have to be very careful.”
2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Stage 4 Results:
1. Helder Rodrigues 04:22:57
2. Rubén Faría +00:00:40
3. Paulo Gonçalves +00:02:45
4. Mathew Fish +00:07:05
5. Jordi Viladoms +00:08:53
11. Marc Coma +00:15:26
2012 Abu Dhabii Desert Challenge Overall Standings (After four of five stages):
1. Marc Coma 17:25:40
2. Joan Barrreda +00:06:34
3. Paulo Gonçalves +00:08:25
4. Rubén Faría +00:09:20
5. Jordi Viladoms +00:12:36