KTM 690 Baja Impresses At Baja Aragon

After an excellent performance in the Baja 500 race in Mexico earlier this year, the machine, this time in the expert hands of KTM’s Spanish factory rider Marc Coma, has just absolved the Baja Aragon in the semi desert area of Spain. The bike now gets to all clear to tackle the Baja 1000 desert race classic (Las Vegas – Reno) on August 28.

The KTM 690 Baja more than proved its worth in being competitive, stable and reliable during the Spanish race, made up of a prologue and three days of extremely hot and dusty conditions. At the conclusion of the race on Sunday, Jose Manuel Pellecier (KTM EXC 540) was to be the ultimate winner and Marc Coma to celebrate being first home on day three when it was announced that both had been penalized 90 minutes for overlooking badly marked check points on day two. Gerard Fares (KTM EXC 540) was consequently elevated to the top of the podium for the Baja Aragon 2007, thus continuing the tradition of KTM success in this gruelling race.

KTM and Coma had entered the race with no real aspirations for victory but instead intended to use the extreme conditions to test the suitability of the 690 Baja for future desert races. The conclusion was clear. Coma was consistently up with the front runners for the entire race and the machine has more than proved that it can do what it has been designed to do – win desert races. The 690 Baja is a highly competitive machine that is capable of winning Baja races in the hands of a top professional rider. The bike is also easy for an amateur to ride and has enough power in any situation. The machine has proved to be reliable and stable and features a new ergonomically streamlined, 19-litre tank that attracted a great deal of attention at last weekend’s race. The 690 Baja is also significantly lighter than other 650 ccm Enduros and is especially designed to meet the demands of top calibre desert racing.

The Baja Aragon was also a perfect training ground for the KTM support team headed by Hans Trunkenpolz. When Coma came into the assistance point on the course on day two, the team had the chance to test themselves against the clock, managing to achieve a full service (changing the rear tyre, changing the brake linings and refuelling) in just 45 seconds, an indication that they too will be making a real contribution to the KTM team’s success in future desert races.

KTM also extends congratulations to Isidre Esteve, a KTM factory rider and six-time winner of the Baja Aragon who was left paralyzed by a race accident in the early part of the year, for having the enormous mental strength to be at the 2007 race as a co-commentator.

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