In what was an extremely fast final desert leg, Coma finished two minutes behind his Spanish compatriot, Joan Barreda, whose chances of winning were scrapped two days ago after he incurred a two-hour penalty for missing a control point
Stage 4 results
1. Joan Barreda 1:54.24
2. Marc Coma +2.06
3. Helder Rodrigues +2.12
4. Jordi Viladoms +3.30
5. Ruben Faria +4.27
Coma rounded off what has been a great week’s ride by securing the overall victory from Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues by a margin of six minutes, with the top-10 finishers averaged speeds of between 109.4 and 102.3kph.
“Today was very fast and it was 208km but there was nothing very difficult for me. I tried to have fun and stay focused and to control the race. The bike worked perfectly and the tam prepared everything very well. It was our first time here so its nice to have the victory and it is a good start to the World Championship.”
Coma has won both rallies of the FIM Cross Country World Championship held so far, with two events to go, in Sardinia, in June, and Egypt, in October.
There was also an excellent third placed finish for the Orlen Team’s Jakub Przgonski, who benefitted from a penalty handed out to Jordi Viladoms for missing a way point to grab the podium spot.
“I was fighting for the place on the podium with Jordi Viladoms - he is a very fast competitor, who was fourth in this year’s Dakar,” Przgonski said. “The only way to win with him was to ride my route through shortcuts. Because of that, in some places I rode on holes and sand dunes instead of riding on the gravel on the main route.
“This strategy paid off sometimes and sometimes it didn’t. Finally the Spaniard got a penalty because of missing a way point and I jumped on the podium. My pace got better than during the last round and that makes me optimistic about the following starts.”
The Polish rider is in third place in the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship standings behind Coma and Rodrigues.