Coma conquers the UAE Desert in final test ahead of Dakar Rally

Coma conquers the UAE Desert in final test ahead of Dakar Rally
FIM World Champion KTM’s Marc Coma has ridden his KTM 690 machine to a triumphant victory in the UAE Desert Challenge Rally, defeating fellow KTM riders Cyril Despres and Pal Ullevalseter for the top spot on of the podium.
The event, which serves as the final test in the desert sands before the notorious Dakar Rally in January was therefore a clean sweep of the podiums for the Austrian-made KTM machines.
‘The race wasn’t easy,’ the Spanish specialist said.’ It was good to have a close fight between me, Cyril and Pal. I just started out to try to catch Cyril today and when I was in front I had to concentrate because one mistake would spoil everything.’ Coma knows what he is talking about. In January 2007 he had amassed an impressive lead in the Dakar and seemed certain to take the title going into the second last day but instead had to concede to Despres and return home with an injured shoulder.
Despres, a four times winner of the Desert Challenge said he hadn’t come ‘looking for second place’. It had been his first desert ride since last year and he immediately leaves for Baja Mexico to compete in another legendary tough race, the Baja 1000.
Nevertheless Despres made Coma work for the honour of top podium place in this year’s UAE Desert Challenge. He had honed the overall margin between himself and the Spaniard down to a mere 1 minute 28 seconds on the penultimate day and set the scene for the race to go down to the wire. Despres, first out on Friday was then faced with the task of laying down the track in the soft desert sand while Coma could follow in his tracks and wait for the right opportunity. The Spaniard eventually crossed the finish line with a margin of five minutes six seconds.
Former world champion Ullevalseter of Norway said he had been very happy with the performance of his KTM. ‘This was a successful test for me,’ he said. In all, KTM riders stole no less than seven of the top ten places, underlining the dominance of the offroad machines from the Austrian factory in what is surely some of the most testing terrain in the world of motor sport.
Not so fortunate was KTM’s Jordi Viladoms, a close rival of the front runners who took a fall on the second race day and had to retire from the race. KTM Rally Team Boss Hans Trunkenpolz confirmed that medical examinations revealed bruising but no serious injury and said he was sure it raised no questions about Viladoms being fit and ready for the Dakar race.
Trunkenpolz said he was very satisfied with the results of the Desert Challenge which showed the KTM factory rider line-up was in very good shape ahead of the Dakar. ‘The bikes went well, ‘he said. ‘Apart from Viladoms crash on the second race day we had no problems at all from start to finish.’
The FTM factory rally team also took advantage of the spectacular desert scenery to carry out the official team photo shooting ahead of the Dakar 2008, the defining event in this discipline of motor sport.
1 Marc Coma KTM Spain
2 Cyril Despres KTM France
3 Pal Anders Ullevalseter KTM Norway
4 James West Honda United Kingdom
5 Francisco Lopez KTM Chile
6 Jean Azevedo KTM Brazil
7 Michael Angerer KTM Austria
8 Steve Blackney Honda United Kingdom
9 Ruben Faria KTM Portugal
10 Sebastian Husseini Suzuki Netherlands

Final World Standings
1 Marc Coma KTM Spain 125
2 Pal Anders Ullevalseter KTM Norway 82
3 David Casteu KTM France 66
4 Matteo Graziani KTM Italy 54
5 Cyril Despres KTM France 47
6 Marek Dabrowski KTM Poland 47
7 Jordi Viladoms KTM Spain 42
8 Jose Manuel Pellicer KTM Spain 36
9 Marcel Butuza KTM Romania 34
10 Jean Azevedo KTM Brazil 29
11 Jaime Prohens KTM Chile 27
12 Justin Carter KTM United Kingdom 22
13 Gerard Farres KTM Spain 20
14 Davide Volpe KTM Italy 19
15 Jackson Feuback KTM Brazil 18

Find the latest pictures of the Rally Team Shooting in Dubai on – 2008 – Motorsport – Rally
UAE Desert Challenge winner 2007 – Marc Coma
FIM Rally World Champion – Marc Coma
KTM Rally Teams 2008
KTM Factory Team – Frans Verhoeven, David Casteu
Red Bull KTM Team – Cyril Despres
Repsol KTM Team – Marc Coma, Jordi Viladoms
Telefonica KTM Team – Francisco Lopez
KTM Acerbis Support Team fine-tuned to support Six Days in Chile
The ISDE, an adventure that every Enduro enthusiast dreams about, is being held in Chile from November 12-17. This year the starting line-up features a record high number of KTM riders and the KTM Acerbis Support Team will be there to back them up.
Of a total of 520 competing riders from 30 countries, 52% will be on board KTM machines. This is real endurance sport in motor racing and more than 40 riders have signed up for the special service package provided by KTM, together with importer Roland Spaarwater and valued sponsoring partner Acerbis.
The high level of interest for the service package is testament to the quality of service offered by KTM at last year’s event in New Zealand. Competing riders value the KTM Acerbis Support Team – made up of key team members from marketing, research and development, customer service and motor sport – for the personal service and flexibility it offers in any situation.
All preparations have successfully been concluded ahead of the 2007 event, the container of equipment is already in Chile and the support team fly out to South America on Sunday to set up onsite.
As well as providing service backup for the event itself, there will be a flow of information and images to the media and for the first time, also video coverage of action, both on the track and in the paddock, guaranteed to capture the true team spirit of the KTM Acerbis Support Team in action.
official KTM Acerbis Support Team
ISDE Paddock Map 2007

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