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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: Victory for Marc Coma, now the leader of the Rally.

The fourth stage of the Rally of Tunisia saw two great performances from the riders in the Repsol KTM Team, with Marc Coma finishing the 288km special in first position and accompanied by Jordi Viladoms, in second place. This means that Coma, who was almost ten minutes faster than Cyril Despres, is now back at the top of the leaderboard with a lead of more than seven minutes. Second position went to Jordi Viladoms and he has climbed two places in the overall classification moving into third position. At the end of today`s special the race left Tunisia and entered Libya, this is where the next four stages will be held.

For the second consecutive day navigation played a fundamental role during the first part of the special. The frequent changes of track meant that the riders had to pay close attention to the directions in the roadbook, to avoid any delay that could see them with extra minutes on their overall time. The intense training that Coma & Viladoms undergo alongside Jordi Arcarons in preparation for days like today bore fruit with excellent performances from the two Repsol riders, able to take an advantage of the other riders`difficulties.

The second part of the stage was much faster and the threat of tyre problems became a bigger worry. Fortunately Coma had what in the end could be called a scare, because 20km from the finish he saw the mousse (a special tyre filler to counteract punctures) in his rear tyre disintegrate, he slowed down though and was able to cross the finishing line with minutes to spare over his rivals.

Tomorrow brings the longest special section in this rally, one of 563km. It has the typical problems associated with this type of marathon stage, meaning that the riders will not have any assistance available when they arrive at the bivouac, as they themselves will have to repair and service their own motorbikes.

Marc Coma: "Today I started second, and during the first part of the stage we had a lot of navigation. I found all the directions OK but at one point Cyril [Despres] got himself lost, and there I was able to overtake him and move into first position. I upped the pace and he could not catch me, so everything went well up to the point 20km from the finish line, there the mousse broke up. I slowed down and luckily I was able to finish, although riding at 100 km/h instead of 160 km/h, which was the speed we had been travelling at up to then. We had more sand, even a small off track; but for the time being we have not had any dunes, which in theory will arrive now that we have entered Libya. It seems that we have two decisive days ahead of us, because tomorrow we have a marathon stage of 560 km, and the following day another of 300 km. I hope we do not have any problems, because in theory these are the two most important days in the race."

Jordi Viladoms: "I am pleased, the strategy that we had used on the first couple of days had not worked out, so today was a good stage to attack, and in the end things worked out perfectly. There were a couple of points were the navigation got complicated and when I got there only Marc [Coma] had got it right. I also found the right track, so the strategy was working even better than I could have expected because I was able to recover quite a bit of time. The special went along several different tracks, although we have now seen a bit of sand, and you had to ride carefully at some points where the sandspits crossed the track. Tomorrow is a day when we will have to be especially careful, because it seems that it will be another fast one, but above all very long. If you add in the fact that it is a marathon stage, which make the kilometres the following day very important, it means that we have two very important days ahead of us."

2009/04/27 | 13:46 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol

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