KTM’s Marc Coma Wins Stage 4 of Desafio Ruta 40 Rally

KTM's Marc Coma

2013 Desafio Ruta 40 Rally Stage 4 Results

The 2013 Desafio Ruta 40 Rally in Argentina continued Thursday for the third stage, which took riders 586 kilometers from Belen to Chilecito with a special stage of  192 kilometers.

Beginning with temps near freezing, one rider got off to a solid start, something he needed following a fuel line issue in stage two. This rider was KTM factory’s Marc Coma, a three-time Dakar winner. The Spaniard brushed away his horrible finish on Wednesday during stage two, which put him 18 minutes behind the leader, and took the stage-four victory Thursday.

Coma was joined on the stage-four victory by teammate Kurt Caselli, the American who also lost time Tuesday to assist his teammate. Caselli trailed by a minute 50 seconds in stage 4, with Yamaha’s David Casteu taking the final podium position three minutes and 36 seconds back.

Coma’s finish puts him back in contention for the overall victory, though he trails the overall leader Helder Rodrigues (HRC Honda CRF450 Rally) by three minutes 17 seconds. Running one minute 16 seconds behind Rodrigues is his teammate Javier Pizzolito.

Helder Rodrigues (Team HRC Honda CRF450 Rally) says: “What a difficult day! It was really easy to make a mistake in navigation and I got lost with a few other riders today, but we got back on the right track in the end. After these problems, I’m really happy with the result today.

“I am leading now and I think Javier and I can make a good race in tomorrow’s long stage. The bike is feeling great and the team is working really well together.”

Sadly, Desafio Ruta 40 organizers confirmed at the end of the day that rider No. 35, Nicholas Rojas of Argentina had crashed during the course of the stage and was declared dead at the site by the emergency medical rescue team.

Fiday’s stage, a massive 781.66 kilometers from Chicelito to San Juan, including a timed special of 455.74, the second longest of the rally. On Saturday riders take a loop track from and to San Juan that includes the final timed special of 146.23 km.

The Desafio Ruta 40 is part of the Dakar Challenge series but also the fourth leg of the FIM World Cross Countries Championship. Coma, the reigning world champion has already won all three earlier legs.

2013 Desafio Ruta 40 Stage 4 Results:
1. Marc Coma, KTM 2 hours 56.25
2. Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM at 1.5
3. David Casteu, Yamaha, at 3.36
4. Claudio. Rodriguez, Honda at 4.38
5. Helder Rodrigues, Honda at 5.25
6. Pablo Rodriguez, Honda, 7.16
7. Chaleco Lopez, KTM, at 9.44
8. Felipe Prohens, Honda at 9.55
9. Javier Pizzolito, Honda at 12.50
10. Juan Salvatierra, Speedbrain Honda at 14.48

2013 Desafio Ruta 40 Overall Results after Stage 4 (of 6):
1. Helder Rodrigues, 14:07.52
2. Pizzolito at 1.16
3. Caselli, KTM at 1.39
4. López, KTM at 2.11
5. Coma, KTM at 3.17
6. Casteu at 4.33
7. Goncalves at 12.28
8. Prohens at 44.25
9. C. Rodrigues at 45.55
10. Salvatierra at 49.48


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