Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Marc Coma, who hails from AviÀ in Spain, sealed his fifth Dakar Rally title on Saturday and with it brought home KTM’s fourteenth consecutive win at one of the most notorious races in the world.
While Paolo Goncalves took second place, KTM racer and Dakar rookie Toby Price took an outstanding podium third at his first attempt in an incredibly challenging Dakar race, which took place over 14 days and a route of approximately 9,000km through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Coma had a 17-minute lead into the final of 13 stages, although the race was halted on safety grounds due to rain at CP2 and Coma declared the winner.
“I’m happy and proud,” said Coma. “As usual it was a grueling rally. We had to overcome a problem on the second day that slowed us down a bit in the rankings. So from then on we had to change the strategy a little and push to recover that time. We knew that the marathons would be key stages and they were. I am happy with the team and the people we have around us. This fifth win says a lot about all of us. The level was very high and this also makes the win very valuable.”
Marc Coma tackled the Dakar with his usual passion and attention to detail, true to his belief that the only result that counts was that in the final day. He took victory in Stage 5 and was top three in six other stages. He also rode with care and prudence in the two marathon stages, nursing a damaged tire in the first and safely bringing his KTM 450 RALLY home across the salt flats of Bolivia in wet conditions that resulted in many riders having to exit the rally after salt clogged their engines and electronics
“That Marc Coma sealed his fifth and the 14th consecutive Dakar win for KTM is a personal success for Marc and each team member and invaluable for the entire company,” said Stefan Pierer, KTM CEO. “The very strong KTM-supported riders have a large share in this outstanding overall result, above all Toby Price. His third place caused a sensation. The run of the 2015 Dakar Rally once again showed how unique and unpredictable this race is. Even stage winners like Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walkner didn´t make it to the finish line. The conditions were extremely exhausting for all involved. Everyone who made it to the finish in Buenos Aires is a winner.”
The Dakar 2015 was indeed a battle of attrition. Of the 168 starters in the bikes division only 78 were on the starting line for the final run into Buenos Aires.
Final Standings Dakar 2015 after 13 stages:
1. Marc Coma (ESP), KTM, 46:03.49 h
2. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, +16.53 min
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, +23.14
4. Pablo Qunitanilla (CHI), KTM, +38.38
5. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, +44.17
6. Ruben Faria (POR), KTM, +1:57.50
7. David Casteu (FRA), KTM, +2:00.14
8. Ivan Jakes (SVK), KTM, +2:18.18
11. Hans Vogels (NDL), KTM, +3:31.50
14. Paolo Ceci (ITA), KTM, +4:58.14
18. Jakub Przygonski (POL), KTM, +6:21.12