MARC COMA – FIM RALLY WORLD CHAMPION 2014!
Red Bull KTM’s four-times Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma of Spain wrapped up his 2014 Rally season in style on Thursday taking victory in the Morocco Rally, the final round of the FIM World Cross Country Rallies Championship and securing the world title.
Marc Coma, a Red Bull sponsored athlete went into the final round with a narrow lead in the points over Portugal’s Paolo Goncalves but had effectively settled the title issue after Wednesday’s fifth stage after his rival Goncalves crashed and had to retire. KTM Factory rider Sam Sunderland finished second overall for one of his best results since joining the team.
Marc Coma: “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.” Coma and his KTM factory teammates compete on the KTM 450 RALLY bike.
Stefan Pierer (CEO KTM AG): “Victory for Marc Coma and the KTM Rally Factory Racing Team in the World Championship is extremely important for us. 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.”
Coma finished the six stage Morocco Rally with a stage score of 3-2-5-1-8-7. He took the overall lead in stage two and then again from the final three stages. In stage three he also successfully put behind him the memories of a crash in 2012 in this rally where he sustained an injury that kept him from defending his Dakar title in 2013.
Victory in the final round concludes a great season for the KTM factory rider. He won his fourth Dakar title in January, 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 then won the Rally dos Sertões in Brazil before bringing his season to a successful conclusion this week in Morocco.
The Morocco Rally was also the rehearsal for the Dakar 2015 and KTM’s other factory riders finished with Ruben Faria in fifth, Jordi Viladoms in sixth and Chaleco Lopez in seventh.
Also impressive were the debut rides in international rally by Australia’s Toby Price (eighth overall) and the factory team’s latest signing, Austria’s Matthias Walkner who finished eleventh. Their solid results indicate that the KTM Rally Factory Racing team also has the next generation on its radar screen.
Results Stage Six Rally Morocco
Around Marrakesh, special stage of 113km
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 1:26:16 h
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +2:07 min
3. Ruben Faria (POR), KTM, +5:41
4. Jordi Viladoms (ESP), KTM, +5:51
5. Chaleco Lopez (CHI), KTM, +6:29
6. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, +6:32
7. Marc Coma (ESP), KTM, +6:37
8. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, +6:41
10. Jakub Przygonski (POL), KTM, +12:13
Final Standings Rally Morocco
1. Coma, 17:37:58 h (2014 Rally World Champion)
2. Sunderland, +5:28 min
3. Helder Rodrigues (POR), Honda, +13:13
4. Barreda, +12:54
5. Faria, +15:17
6. Viladoms, +19:30
7. Lopez, +21:26
8. Price, +1:01.36 h (includes 20-minute penalty)
11. Walkner, +2:06:51