2014 FIM Cross Countries Rally Champion
The six-round FIM Cross Countries Rally Championship concluded Thursday with the final stage of the Morocco Rally.
And with a stage-score of 3-2-5-1-8-7, Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma secured the 2014 Morocco Rally victory. But that wasn’t it – he also secured the FIM Cross Countries Rally Championship.
This was important feat for the 38-year-old Spaniard, considering he suffered a huge crash at the 2012 Morocco Rally, which prevented him from defending his Dakar Rally title in 2013; the four-time Dakar winner didn’t race in the 2013 Dakar due to the injury.
But that is all behind him now. Coma took the overall lead in stage two, then again from the final three stages. Coma was joined on the Morocco Rally podium by KTM’s Sam Sutherland and Honda’s Helder Rodriguez.
Heading into the final Cross Countries Rally round, Coma had a narrow lead over Honda’s Paolo Goncalves, but the Portuguese rider crashed and was forced to retire.
This was a great year for Coma; he won his fourth Dakar title in January, and took second place in the first three rounds of the World Championship, the Desert Challenge (Abu Dhabi), the Sealine Rally (Qatar) and Sardinia Rally (Italy). He also won the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil before bringing his season to a successful conclusion this week in Morocco.
Speaking after the Morocco Rally, the KTM 450 Rally pilot Coma said “We know that the Morocco Rally is one of the toughest on the calendar so we came with tactics not to take any risks for the championship.
“But the feeling is amazing and it’s been a special week full of emotions because I had my birthday, then I won the title and today the win in the rally. To be six-times world champion is not easy. There is a lot of work behind it.”
Stefan Pierer CEO of KTM Sport Motorcycles AG said “Victory for Marc Coma and the KTM Rally Team in the World Championship is extremely important for KTM. Rally sport is and remains the core of our philosophy and represents the very essence of our activities.
“With Marc Coma, our winning rally bike and our entire team we have once again proven that we have the strongest structure. The World Championship title is not only the perfect incentive but also for our Rally Department, it signals the start of Dakar 2015.”
The Morocco Rally was also the rehearsal for the 35th running of the Dakar, which gets underway in South American in January.
2014 Morocco Rally Stage 6 (Final Stage):
1. Joan Barreda, ESP, Honda, 1 hour 26.16
2. Sam Sunderland, GBR, KTM at 2.07
3. Ruben Faria, POR, KTM at 5.41
4. Jordi Viladoms, ESP, KTM at 5.51
5. Chaleco Lopez, CHI, KTM at 06.29
6. Matthias Walkner, AUT, KTM at 6.32
7. Marc Coma, ESP, KTM at 6.37
8. Toby Price, AUS, KTM at 6.41
9. Helder Rodrigues, Honda at 6.45
10. Jakub Przygonski, POL, KTM at 12.13
2014 Morocco Rally Overall Standings:
1. Coma 17 hours 37.58 – World Champion 2014
2. Sunderland at 5.28
3. Rodrigues at 13.13
4. Barreda at 12.54
5. Faria at 15.17