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Coma Seals Victory in Qatar

World Cross Country Champs 2015

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www.fullnoise.com.au

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Marc Coma on Friday rode to victory in the fourth edition of the highly competitive Sealine Rally which concluded in Qatar on Sunday. 

The rally was the second round of the 2015 FIM World Cross Country Rallies Championship and as Coma also won the opening round, he has now extended his points lead. 

Marc Coma won ahead of his old rivals Joan Barreda and Paolo Goncalves, who were followed by Coma’s teammate Jordi Viladoms (ESP) in fourth, Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Sam Sunderland (GBR) and Matthias Walkner (AUT). Eight of the top ten finishers were on the KTM 450 RALLY. The remaining Red Bull KTM factory rider, Ruben Faria (POR) retired after Stage 1 with a wrist injury. 

Coma, a multi Dakar Rally winner started the final stage with just under eight minutes overall lead. He rode a careful final stage to be third in the daily stage standings and had a 4:40 minutes overall lead over Barreda. 

"We finally finished the rally!" Coma enthused. "It was hard. We tried to be consistent and not make the slightest mistake because this rally is so intense it is impossible to recover if you make a mistake. It was a very hard fought win and the team did a great job. 

"We started the year very well, and we are still on the right way. Now it is time to enjoy this beautiful moment and then begin to work ahead of the next race in Sardinia.” 

Riders tackled 1926.76 kilometers over the five days, all of which except 144.75 kilometers were under the clock. Unlike the Desert Challenge that opened the season several weeks ago and features classic dune racing, the Sealine Rally is made up of a lot of stony piste and very tricky navigation. 

Coma won the opening stage and concentrated on delivering a careful tactical race on the other four days. Austria’s Matthias Walkner, the team rookie was the stage winner on Day 2. He said he had benefited from riding together with Viladoms, like Coma, a rider with rich international experience. 

Walkner did lose more than an hour the following day but continues to show great promise as he comes to terms with international competition and the navigation aspect. 

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team will next compete at Round 4 of the championship, the Sardegna Rally on the Italian island of Sardinia from June 6-11. This rally is entirely different in nature of terrain and offers riders conditions more akin to Enduro racing. 

Results Stage 5 Sealine Rally 2015
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 4:07.51 h
2. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +1:21 min
3. Marc Coma (ESP), KTM, +3:17
4. Jordi Viladoms (ESP), KTM, +5:01
5. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +7:24

Final Standings Sealine Rally 2015 after 5 of 5 stages
1. Coma, 19:56.48 h
2. Barreda, +4:40 min
3. Goncalves, +6:33
4. Viladoms, +17:59
5. Quintanilla, +18:00

Top Image: Marc Coma Seals Sealine Rally Win To Extend Championship Lead 

Credit: RallyZone Bauer/Barni

 
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