|Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Marc Coma - "It was a good day for us today"|
The KTM Factory Rally riders got down to some serious desert racing on Sunday with the opening leg of the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge". Factory Team rookie Sam Sunderland of Britain was the fastest home in the opening stage of 290 km, shadowed by 4-times Dakar winner Marc Coma (Spain) just 34 seconds behind in second place.
"It was a good day for us today and the first day is very important to get the feeling for the desert back again," said Dakar-winner Marc Coma. "We are coming back to racing after some months since the Dakar, and I have had time to rest and get fit."
He continued: "The first day of the rally here in Abu Dhabi is always tricky because we are already in the dunes in the first kilometers but I am feeling good and I have a good feeling for the bike. Sam (Sunderland) opened the road today and he was very fast. We rode together and we had a good rhythm. Now it’s important to plan a good strategy for the coming days."
Jordi Viladoms of Spain and KTM supported rider Jakub Przygonski (Poland) came in at fifth and sixth, 11:12 and 15:06 minutes off the pace set by Britain’s Sunderland. Sunderland and Coma are 1-2 in the overall standings after Leg One and Saturday’s prologue. The KTM Factory Racing team are competing on the 2014 KTM 450 Rally, the machine on which Coma took his fourth Dakar victory in January and KTM thirteenth.
The stage was marred by the fatal accident of a British rider Cameron Waugh (we reported) who was found injured at the 155 km mark by KTM’s support rider Jakub Przygonski of Poland. Przygonski raised the alarm and performed CPR for 20 minutes on the victim.
Waugh was airlifted to hospital some 13 minutes later but was pronounced dead on arrival. KTM Factory Racing is sending condolences to the Waugh family. Przygonski admitted to his team it had been a tough day and it had been difficult to concentrate after the accident.
2014/04/07 | 00:49 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/KTM