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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









Dakar 2008: Interview with Marc Coma before the Dakar 2008.





A whole year preparing to win a race that lasts 15 days on African soil. With a recently won world title in the bag, Coma `s third consecutive, and with having learnt something at the start of 2007 - both he and the team - Marc is facing the countdown to the trip to Lisbon on 2nd January. Three days later the Lisbon Dakar 2008 race starts, and with help from the Repsol KTM team Coma hopes to win it.

MR: You planned the whole season around the Dakar and the result is another world title. How do you find yourself now that the race is about to start in Lisbon?

Marc Coma: "We will be just as we had planned, in good form and raring to go. Things went well this year and the important thing is to forget about the fall, and I think we have done so."

MR: The end of last year`s race was hard to swallow. I suppose that you learn from experiences like that. What lesson did you learn?

Marc Coma: "The truth is that with experiences like this you mature. Luckily we have a good team and good support; this means that all of us at the difficult times have just got on with our work and learn from our mistakes."

MR: The final objective for you I suppose is to win, something you did two years ago. What do you have to do to win it and what mistakes must you avoid?

Marc Coma: "In a race as long as this one, we have to remember that every kilometre counts and we have to get to Dakar without having any problems and without having made any mistakes. It is a very long race, especially this year, when there will be many kilometres, and in such a tough race anything can happen."

MR: How do you plan for the day to day racing once it starts?

Marc Coma: "Like this, day by day. We are expecting a very long race and we cannot relax on any stage, there is no margin for relaxation and there are no easy stages. I think we are in for a rally where all the stages will be very important, so we do not have to think long term".

MR: Perhaps the team strategy did not work last year?

Marc Coma: "I do not agree as I think it did work well. In a race like the Dakar we know that the percentage of riders who reach the end is under half, and in 2007 this was the case, but I think it was not because of the wrong team strategy it was a question of bad luck. It is clear that if you do not win the result is what tells you whether the strategy was good or not. The world of competition is like this and at the end where you finish is what tells you whether you did things well or not."

MR: How do you rate the team this year?

Marc Coma: "I think it is good. There was a generational change with Giovanni Sala leaving, he retired, and Gerard Farr├ęs came in. Obviously he does not have Gio`s experience, but he contributes a lot on the human side. Their characters are quite similar. Perhaps he is the nice side of the team, something that Sala brought as well, but what Gerard has to do now is learn."

MR: What advice do you give him, he is practically a novice in this race?

Marc Coma: "That above all he does not put pressure on himself and not to look at the leaderboartd until the final day."

MR: Do you think about who could be your strongest rivals or keeping an eye on somebody specific?

Marc Coma: "As always Cyril is the man to beat. He is the reigning champion, the man with the number one on his bike, and so he will be the reference. But we, as always, will try to do our race, with our objectives, and reach Dakar without having made any nistakes and without having had any problems."

MR: When you spend such a long time on a motorbike in the middle of the desert, what do you think about?

Marc Coma: "Your mind sometimes tries to go where it wants but we try to concentrate, always, because if your mind wanders it shows that you are not thinking about the job in hand. It is a difficult task, but we try to alays be 100% concentrated."

MR: With a tough race predicted, is it the race itself that has to be beaten?

Marc Coma: "I think so. On the one hand I think that is something good, because if you have a problem, you make a mistake, in a race as complicated as this it is possible to recover what you lost. On the other, if it is an easy year and you have a mistake or a problem, you say farewell to the race. This year I think that the race will not be decided until the final day"

MR: A more philosophical question: What do the Dakar and Africa mean to you?

Marc Coma: "For me it is an important part of my life. I think that it has taught me a lot, both Africa as well as the Dakar, and I think that as a person it has influenced me immeasurably. Above all because I have been able to learn about a continent that was completely unknown to me, and perhaps it means that now I can give a greater importance to some values that have been lost a little in our society."

2007/12/16 | 17:25 CET | Editor: MR/Repsol KTM/hs






















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