Rallye

Marc Coma masters Sardinia Rally

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KTM factory rider Marc Coma of Spain rode an almost faultless rally on the island of Sardinia to conquer the Sardinia Rally for 2010 allowing him to switch his No.2 plate to the coveted No. 1 for the race next year.

Husqvarna mounted Italian Andrea Mancini finished second while Cyril Despres, Coma's eternal rival at the apex of rally sport, finished third overall.

Coma, onboard a KTM 530 EXC won three out of five stages and sailed home with an 11 minute advantage.

KTM factory rider Despres, like Coma a multiple Dakar winner, made a huge push on the last day to win the stage and take third place overall. He missed the second overall by just 15 seconds.

Overall it was an excellent result for KTM with 10 of the top 20 riders on Austrian machines.

Despres, who won Sardinia last year, was hampered in the rally by a deep cut on his forearm, which needed seven stitches. He admitted that it had been painful and that it had been a tough week on the bike.

"It has been a hard few five days for me, with my injured arm causing me more than a few problems. And it is clear my performance suffered as a result. This morning however, with Jordi (Viladoms) just a few seconds ahead of me and Mancini not that far ahead in second I decided to bite the bullet and open the gas. For sure my arm hurt but the result was worth the pain," the Frenchman said.

The early part of the rally saw less than perfect conditions with unseasonal heavy rain and very heavy tracks that added another dimension of difficulty on the ride that crisscrossed the picturesque Italian island. Even on the penultimate day, clouds were low and so were the temperatures with conditions that even created problems for world class riders like Coma.

"I got lost three times but each time I quickly realized my mistake. Riding alone and opening the piste, it was difficult to judge how I was doing compared to the others," Coma said.

Coma also took KTM-UAE rider Tim Trenker under his wing and after tackling very contrasting terrain to the deserts he rides in the UAE, he finished the rally in 43rd.

Main Photo: Marc Coma

Final Results Sardinia Rally
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 530 EXC, 15:08'27.77
2. Andrea Mancini, Italy, Husqvarna, 15:19'29.01
3. Cyril Despres, France, KTM 530 EXC, 15:20'57.13
4. Jordi Viladoms, Spain, Husqvarna, 15:20'59.91
5. Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, 15:24'25.67
6. M. Graziani KTM 530 EXC 15:29'01.78
7. P. Ceci, Beta 15:30'34.22
8. D. Casteu, Sherco 450 15:33'24.05
9. A. Zanotti Aprilia 450 15:43'18.29
10. J. Przygonski, KTM 530 EXC 15:46'29.19

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