Marc Coma Wins 2014 Dakar Rally to Secure KTM’s 13th Title

Viladoms and Pain Round Out Podium, Three Aussie Cross the Finish Line

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Red Bull KTM factory rider Marc Coma coasted into Valparaiso, Chile, on Saturday afternoon to pick up his fourth individual Dakar title and to secure KTM‰Ûªs thirteenth title in the worlds biggest off road race.

Factory teammate Jordi Viladoms made it a memorable day for the Austrian manufacturer by finishing second overall, while Yamaha Factory rider Olivier Pain rounded out the podium, just holding off a fast finishing team-mate Cyril Despres.

It was perhaps Coma‰Ûªs finest victory in his Dakar Career as he led the overall standings from Stage Five. He completed the 13-stage, near 9,000 km course in 54 hours 50 minutes and 53 second, almost two hours ahead of second placed Viladoms.

Having to lead from the front for more than half of the rally was also a tribute to Coma‰Ûªs skill as a rider and tactician and is testament to his physical and mental strength. He completed the rally with three stage wins, four second-place finishes and three thirds.

Coma described his Dakar experience as ‰ÛÏan extreme and gruelling Dakar‰Û
Jordi Viladoms made it a 1-2 finish for KTM - Credit: M.Maragni, KTM Images
Coma, who has been a KTM factory rider since 2003, first won in Africa in 2006. He then repeated his success in 2009 and 2011 after the Dakar was relocated to South America. He did not compete in 2013 because of injury.

Understandably, going into the final stage with a massive lead, Coma took it easy in the final stage, finishing in eighteenth place.

However the main focus for the KTM factory team was whether Viladoms was going to be able to finish second.

Going into Stage 13 he was challenged for the podium spot by Pain and Despres but his sixth place proved more than enough to give him second place on the podium.

Viladoms, who said after the race that he was ‰ÛÏoverwhelmed and over the moon‰Û
Olivier Pain raced to a find third place finish over all - Credit: Yamaha racing
Pain secured the final spot on the podium after a close battle with teammate Despres over the last 157 kilometres of the final special, coming home in second behind stage winner Joan Barreda of the HRC Factory Honda team to finally win the third place on the podium.

Pain had been 40 minutes back from the podium on the rest day, capitilised on Barreda's mistake on stage 12 and combined with his attacking riding on the second half of the Rally to secure his first Dakar podium result.

‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm really pleased to have achieved my goal and got myself and my Yamaha on the podium." Pain stated. "After months of hard work, both with the team and the people who help me with my physical preparation it is a source of great satisfaction.

"To have done so ahead of the ‰Û÷King of the Desert‰Ûª (Cyril Despres) gives it even more worth. This morning before the start I felt some pressure knowing he was just behind me but it was also an extra source of motivation.

"And of course this was a particularly hard Dakar so the result has all the more merit. I‰Ûªm looking forward to celebrating tonight with the rest of the team," he added.
Cyril Despres made a huge come back after a tough week one, to make the podium to then lose it due to a five minute penalty on the final stage - Credit: Yamaha Racing
Despres had been on track to win his third special aboard his YZ450F machine, unfortunately a five minute penalty for speeding resulted in a drop from first on the special to fifth.

Despres retained fourth in the standings, less than 15 minutes from second place. The five-time Dakar winner made an impressive comeback over the rally, having been in 12th at the end of stage five and 11th on the rest day. Despite some issues and time penalties, the 2013 champion‰Ûªs first Dakar with Yamaha showed great potential, with riding hours comparable to the first and second placed riders. Cyril Despres

‰ÛÏI attacked so hard on the special that my front disc got really hot, causing the pick up on my tripmeter to malfunction." Despres explained. "It meant that I didn‰Ûªt have the right information on my navigation equipment, which in turn made following the road book difficult.

"Still, I got close to the podium and have the satisfaction of knowing I gave it my absolute maximum. Congratulations to Olivier. He rode a really good race and thoroughly deserves his podium place ‰ÛÒ a reward for all the effort the team have put into the rally programme.‰Û
Joan Barreda won five stages, just some bad luck on stage 12 kept him and Honda from the Podium - Credit: Honda Racing
Finishing in 7th place was the rider who won more stages than any other rider in this years event, HRC Factory Honda's Joan Barreda

Up until stage 12 Barreda was in position to claim second place overall after leading the opening four days of the 2014 Dakar and sitting in second place until the start of the penultimate stage where he suffered a big crash, losing over two hours on the day.

Winning a total of five stages aboard the newly developed HRC Honda Factory Dakar machine, Barreda proved both himself and Honda will be challengers for the race win in years to come.

"Losing the podium yesterday after my crash was one of the worst experiences I ever made." Barreda admitted. "I was in despair to reach the finish line in the time to keep my runner-up position, but everything was against me.

"I struggled, fought and lost the fight. Overall, the race was a very good and important experience, I tried everyday my best, maybe yesterday too much. I am happy to have reached the finish line now and can go home with a bag of achievements, and a lot of input where I still can improve and come back stronger.

"I want to thank my team for their perfect job and all-year support they provided. Thanks to Honda for giving me with the CRF 450 Rally an awesome, super-competitive bike.

A special thanks goes to my teammate Paulo Goncalves, who stayed with me all the days to help after he was out of the race because of his fire incident. With him still in the race, yesterdayå«s problem could probably have been fixed and the time loss might have been reduced."

Daniel Gouet from Chile finished in eight place, Stefan Svitko finished 9th aboard his KTM while French KTM rider David Casteu rounded out the top ten.
Shane Diener (pictured) along with Troy O'Connor and Allan Roberts all finished a very tough 2014 Dakar Rally that saw only 78 of the 196 starters finish the race -
In some what of a coincidence the three remaining Australian's out of the six that started crossed the finish line and finished 37th,38th and 39th respectively.

Leading the way in the overall results for the Aussies was KTM rider Troy O'Connor who put in consistent stage results over the course of two weeks to finish 37th, 14 hours and 47 seconds behind race winner Coma.

Shane Diener finished the final stage in 19th position equalling his best result for the 2014 event, finishing just 11 minutes of the stage leader was enough for the Yamaha rider to leap frog fellow Australian Allan Roberts in the final results with Diener finishing the event just 7 minutes in front of KTM mounted Roberts.

The three Australians who were forced to retire from the event in the opening week were KTM Australia's Ben Grabham and fellow KTM riders Clayton Jacobsen and Mark Davidson.

Stage 13 Results: La Serena - ValparaÌ_so - Chile.:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +01:59:44
2. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:00:40
3. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:01:23
4. Juan Pedero Garcia (ESP, Sherco) +00:01:35
5. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) 00:02:30
6. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +00:03:31
7. Michael Metge (FRA, Yamaha) +00:04:08
8. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +00:04:17
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:05:16
10. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +00:07:20
19. Shane Diener (Aus, Yamaha) +00:11:09
44. Troy O'Connor (Aus, KTM) +00:23:14
46. Allan Roberts (Aus, KTM) +00:24:04
Marc Coma celebrates his win - Credit: M.Maragni, KTM Images
2014 Dakar Rally Final Overall Standings:
1. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) 54:50:53 hrs
2. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +01:52:27
3. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +02:00:03
4. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +02:00:38
5. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +02:11:09
6. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +02:31:46
7. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +02:54:01
8. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +03:10:34
9. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +03:50:10
10. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +03:58:09
37. Troy O'Connor (Aus, KTM) +14:47:58
38. Shane Diener (Aus, Yamaha) +15:33:18
39. Allan Roberts (Aus, KTM) +15:40:49

Top Image: Marc Coma wins the 2014 Dakar Rally Claiming his 4th Victory in the event and KTM's 13th.

Credit: M.Maragni, - KTM Images

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