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OiLibya Rally 2009 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the OiLibya Rally 2009, second round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

OiLibya Rally: Problems with the rear tyre delay Marc Coma.

The Rally of Tunisia is showing that it can reach the level that was expected of it, regarding its difficulty and the demands always present in a round of the World Championship, and today, the race has showed its toughest side to the Repsol riders. Jordi Viladoms, first, and then Marc Coma afterwards saw how the mousse on their rear tyres disintegrated, meaning that they lost some valuable time in the overall classification.

In the case of Marc Coma, the Repsol rider started this stage in a calm frame of mind without taking the slightest risk, as he knew that the tough terrain on today`s stage, along very stony tracks, could easily wear out his rear tyre. However, 25 kilometrres from the end he began to notice the feared symptoms on his rear tyre, and just 4km from the finishing line had to stop, take off the tyre that was now useless, and cross the finishing line riding on the rim of his rear wheel. He lost 16 minutes 15 seconds, and so he drops to second in the overall, almost nine minutes behind the leader.

Coma`s bad luck was accompanied by more of the same for his teammate, but in Viladoms` case the mousse began to degrade 150 kilometres earlier than Coma`s, when the had just 10km to the refuelling. He managed to reach that point and took advantage of the obligatory 15 minute stop to put an inner tube in his rear wheel. Viladoms took a little longer than that to complete the job, and even though he started out with a delay of 5 minutes, he managed to make up the time and catch “Chaleco” López, who he accompanied to the finishing line. The Repsol rider was sixth in the end, and stays in fourth place in the overall classification, 2 minutes 3 seconds behind the Chilean rider in third place.

With just three days left in this rally, sand dunes and fast tracks will keep the riders working hard physically, and on the eighth stage they will have to tackle a special of 313km.

“This is a shame because the mousse melted and we lost quite a bit of time. It was a stage without any complications, with many tracks in parallel where all you had to do was to stay on course so as not to get lost. We knew that this problem could occur with the tyres, so I started out not taking any risks, controlling my speed all the time – not going over 130 km/h – but 25 kilometres from the end I noticed that I was beginning to have some problems.
I tried to carry on, but when there were only 4km left it disintegrated. I took the tyre off and I rode on the rim, because unfortunately Jordi [Viladoms] had had the same problem, he was delayed and was not able to help me.”

“Today I started just behind Marc [Coma], so the strategy was to protect the tyres as much as possible and to nurse them through the stage, but it did not turn out like that. I had problems very early on, because when we were getting near the refuelling it was already melting.
I imagine that some hard blow on the wheel could have affected it, because it is not normal for it to disappear 150 kilometres before the other riders begin to have problems, and the fact is that only Marc and myself have had this kind of setback. I am really sorry that I was not near Marc [Coma] when he needed my help.”

Results Stage 8
1. Cyril DESPRES 3:29.00
2. Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER 3:42.25
3. Marc COMA 3:45.15
4. Olivier PAIN 3:47.14
5. Francisco LÓPEZ 3:49.53
6. Jordi VILADOMS 3:51.40

General Classification

1. Cyril DESPRES 22:14.34
2. Marc COMA + 8.59
3. Francisco LÓPEZ + 49.00
4. Jordi VILADOMS + 51.03
5. Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER + 1:01.09

2009/04/30 | 19:20 CET | Editor: MR/Repsol/Rita Konya

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