COMA SECOND OVERALL AFTER MARATHON LEG OF SARDEGNA RALLY RACE
In what was an eventful day for riders in the Sardegna Rally Race marathon stage, Marc Coma brought his KTM machine safely to the overnight bivouac at San Leonardo to be second overall behind Italy’s Alessandro Botturi.
Red Bull athlete Marc Coma is now six minutes behind the leader in the overall standings but also has four clear minutes advantage on third placed Gerard Farres. KTM factory teammate Ruben Faria was placed tenth overall at the end of the day. Jordi Viladoms has retired with a bruised hand.
Coma: "It was a complicated day but despite the difficulties we have to be satisfied, when compared to other riders who have lost time. It's easy to lose minutes on this type of terrain, which also is very demanding. It is not easy to watch out, check the data and ride at speed. We must continue to concentrate and be as consistent as possible over the coming days."
The support team is not allowed any contact with its riders during the marathon stage. As no mechanical support is allowed overnight, riders must also nurse their motorcycles and preserve tires, which have to last through to the end of Wednesday’s stage, the penultimate of this year’s edition.
Race officials reported that many of the leading riders made navigation errors or had mechanical issues and this has shaken up the order of the overall standings. After Monday the top four riders were closely positioned at the close of the stage and were led in by Portugal’s Paolo Goncalves, Botturi and Coma in third place. Joan Barreda, the leader after Sunday’s stage was in fourth place. The Sardegna Rally Race has more the characteristics of enduro racing than the classic rally.
At the end of Tuesday’s stage, Goncalves was 15.41 behind the leader and Barreda had dropped to ninth and trailed by some 26 minutes. This was an indication that anything can happen in the marathon stage and usually does.
Riders have two more stages to complete, San Leonardo to San Teodoro on Wednesday and a loop to and from San Teodoro to complete the five-day rally on Thursday. The Sardegna Rally Race over 1600 km is the fourth of six legs that make up the FIM World Cross-Country Rallies Championship.
Results Sardegna Rally Race, Stage 3
1. Alessandro Botturi (ITA), Husqvarna, 4:02:47 h
2. Gerard Farres (ESP), GasGas, +3:22 min
3. Marc Coma (ESP), KTM, +4:40
4. Helder Rodriguez (POR), Honda, +6:22
5. Andrea Mancini (ITA), Beta, +7:19
6. Ruben Faria (POR), KTM, +12:23
10. Armand Monleón (ESP), KTM, +18:45
DNS Jordi Viladoms (ESP), KTM
Standings Sardegna Rally Race after 3 of 5 stages
1. Botturi, 9:53:45 h
2. Coma, +6:00 min
3. Farres, +9:52
4. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +15:41
5. Rodriguez, +16:18
8. Monleón, +23:14
10. Faria, +30:47
Sardegna Rally Race