|Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins SS01 in front of Rodrigues and Goncalves.|
KTM´s Marc Coma made a solid start in his bid for victory in the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil on Sunday when he finished fastest in the opening stage of this 2600 km event.
The Spanish rider completed the stage of 216 km, of which 155 km was timed special between Goiania in central Brazil traveling southeast to Caldas Novas in 01:55:28 hours. He finished with a narrow 1:22 minutes ahead of second placed Helder Rodrigues (Honda HRC) of Portugal. Honda-rider Paolo Goncalves, winner of the prologue, was third, two minutes off the leader´s time.
Sunday´s stage required a lot of concentration according to Coma: "It was only quite a short stage but we can say the terrain was quite tricky. You have to pay close attention because there are a lot of animals and fences and other obstacles and also we were flying all the time because there were many jumps. Every time you have to judge how and where to land. I am happy though that we found the good rhythm today," the Spaniard said.
Coma´s official KTM factory teammates were also well placed after the opening stage with Jordi Viladoms of Spain in fourth place 00:02:32 mins off the pace, Briton Sam Sunderland in sixth at 00:04:31 and Ruben Faria finishing seventh only two seconds behind Sunderland. The KTM factory riders compete on the KTM 450 Rally machine.
Coma entered the competition with a six-point lead in the FIM World Cross Countries Rally Championship on Joan Barreda and Goncalves is looking to consolidate that lead this week.
The three times Dakar Rally winner was second in the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge", the "Sealine Rally Qatar" and the "Sardegna Rally Race", which has more a characteristic of an enduro event than a classic rally. Factory riders did not compete in the scheduled Round 3 in Egypt (Pharaons Rally) due to the instability in the country at the time.
2014/08/24 | 21:43 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/KTM