2012 Abu Dhabi Desert ChallengeThe 2012 Cross Country Rally World Championship began last week with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, a race that took riders over 1240 miles over five days, with 944 of those miles timed.
Heading into the race, the immediate favorite was MRW Repsol KTM’s Marc Coma. And there was much merit to this, considering the Spaniard won his sixth Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the event concluded last Friday.Coma won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge by almost ten minutes ahead of Joan Barreda, and 20 ahead of Paulo Goncalves.Marc Coma (MRW Repsol KTM 450 Rally) says: “I am very happy with how things went, right from the first day. Despite today’s stage being the last, it was a special stage of 280km and it was difficult maintaining concentration. You have to focus on getting to the end without any problems. I tried to keep my pace up but without taking any unnecessary risks. Thankfully it was a rally in which everything went our way.“We were able to avoid any issues and things went exactly as we had planned. When things follow your strategy you are grateful when in the end it goes your way, because it was certainly a tough rally for everyone. The heat and the difficulty of the dunes made it a challenge, as did the high level of our rivals. In as short a rally as this one, small errors are magnified -that’s why I am so happy that everything went perfectly.”This was also Coma’s fourth consecutive Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge victory; he has now won the race six out of the eight times it was held – 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. During the 2005 edition, Coma finished second, and in 2008 he finished 17th following a breakdown.Coma will now prep for the second round of the 2012 Cross Country Rally Raid World Championship, the Sealine Cross-Country Rally at Qatar April 15-21.Attached above is wallpaper highlighting Coma’s performance at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.Click motorcycle thumbnail to expand. Right click motorcycle wallpaper to download.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.