COMA MAINTAINS SECOND IN HARD FOUGHT SEALINE RALLY
On a day where navigation remained the key issue for riders competing in the Sealine rally in Qatar, KTM factory rider Marc Coma finished Leg Three as part of a closely fought group of four lead riders in second place with a small 2:15 minutes deficit to leader Joan Barreda.
Marc Coma is in second overall about 1:30 minute behind Barreda. Coma’s factory teammate Jordi Viladoms was fourth and is third overall setting up a battle between these three Spanish riders.
Coma said this year’s edition of the rally was very difficult. “There are longer stages, also for the final two days, and the surface is very stony and white so it is very difficult to see the piste. It’s also wet. We still have a long way to go and after three days of hard riding and we must really stay very focused and try to push.” He said the rally will probably only be decided on the last day.
The KTM factory team’s two other riders, Sam Sunderland of Britain and Portugal’s Ruben Faria finished 6-7 in the stage. Sunderland is sixth overall but Faria, who did not finish on Tuesday, is using the remainder of the rally as training. Sunderland, the team’s newest signing was the Stage Two winner and had to open the track, a difficult task given how hard the navigation is proving to be. All of the KTM factory riders are competing on the 2014 KTM 450 RALLY bike on which Coma in January won his fourth Dakar victory and KTM's thirteenth.
Wednesday was the longest stage in this year’s rally. Thursday, the penultimate day of the 2014 edition takes riders on a 410.91 km loop stage around southern Qatar, of which 404.18 is timed special. The rally will finish on Friday afternoon after riders complete another 362.97 km of timed special.
Results Sealine Rally Qatar Leg Three
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 4:53:43 h
2. Marc Coma (ESP), KTM, +2:15 min
3. Helder Rodrigues (POR), Honda, +4:02
4. Jordi Viladoms (ESP), KTM, +6.11
5. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +8:03
6. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +10:09
7. Ruben Faria (POR), KTM, +27:51
Standings Sealine Rally Qatar after 3 of 5 legs
1. Barreda, 11:10:37 h
2. Coma, +1:19 min
3. Viladoms, +7:21
4. Goncalves, +9:36
5. Rodrigues, +9:55
6. Sunderland, +15:11