2012 Cross Country Rally World Chapionship
Two weeks ago, Respol MRW KTM’s Marc Coma won the opening round of the Cross Country Rallies World Championship, taking a dominant win at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
With minimal rest, the Spaniard is now ready to take on Round 2 of the championship – the Sealine Cross-Country Rally held near the Losail International Circuit that hosted the opening round of the 2012 MotoGP Championship April 8.
On Tuesday, Coma placed his KTM 450 Rally third in the prologue for the race, which begins Wednesday and concludes Saturday in the deserts of Qatar. This gives Coma the third starting position, behind Helder Rodriquez (starting second) and Joan Barreda (starting first).
The rules of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally allow the fastest riders in the prologue the opportunity to choose their starting spot in the first stage proper.
Coma completed Tuesday’s 2-mile timed section (out of 3 miles) in 2:47.2, just 1.3 seconds slower than Joan Barreda 8 tenths slower than Rodrigues.
MRW says: As a result, the MRW rider will be the third man to chose his starting place, looking to take on the challenge from further back in order to catch up with those in front -as he did in Abu Dhabi at the opening event.”
During Stage One Wednesday, the riders face a 205-mile timed session in the race that will be more than 745 miles.
Marc Coma (Respol MRW KTM 450 Rally) says: “I am happy with how the day went. It was a short stage on the beach which even had a few dunes with which to contend, but it wasn’t too tough and serves as a warmup for the race.
“The rules state that whoever wins gets to pick their starting position first, so we tried to push hard instead of stopping for a breather. That had been the strategy in Abu Dhabi, where we slowed down to get a position further down the field. We have to finish deciding which position is best for us tomorrow, but we are likely to go for a later spot in order to give chase to the early starters.”
2012 Sealine Cross-Country Rally Prologue Results:
1. Joan Barreda 02:45.9
2. Helder Rodrigues +0.5
3. Marc Coma +1.3
4. Jakub Przygonski +4.1
5. Rubén Faría +5.3