Legendary Marc Coma writes his name in the history of Sertões
Spanish rider won his first title in the race, with the Brazilian rider Felipe Zanol as a surprise runner-up
A historical day in Sertões International Rally. On Friday (August, 20), the gallery of champions of the greatest Brazilian adventure on wheels has been enriched with an off-road legend. Two times winner of the legendary Dakar, and now four-time World Cross Country Rally champion, Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM 690) won his first title of Sertões in his career.
Placed eighth at the 10th special, held on Friday, from Sobral (CE) to Fortaleza (CE), Marc Coma has always been among the top three in all stages held in the 18-year commemorative edition of the race - winning three of them. In the end, the Spaniard finished almost 18 minutes ahead of Brazilian Felipe Zanol (Honda 450), who was the runner-up - and the fastest rider in the final timed section.
"The rally was quite long. Now is the time to enjoy the victory. Sertões has very particular characteristics, not found anywhere in the world, only here in Brazil. The first stages were very difficult for me because I use a slightly larger bike for the demands of this type of rally," said Coma.
"It was a pity that Ze Helio had a problem that took him out of the fight for victory, but it made things a little easier for me," continued the Spaniard, referring to the problem that the five-time champion of the Rally faced on the third stage, when he hit a rock and had a punctured oil intercooler hose and failed to finish the stage.
"I had to ride very concentrated, not making mistakes and always with the goal of finishing the special among the top three. For me, particularly, was very important to win here. It is the title I missed, the last to win. I could not miss this title, especially because this was the farewell rally with my current bike, now that we have a new and updated bike in the coming competitions. And I hope to be back here next year," said Coma.
First runner-up Felipe Zanol was the biggest surprise in the bike category of the 18th edition. The rider from Minas Gerais raced his first Sertões, challenged his inexperience in Cross Country rally, and was the greatest winner of timed sections - four stages. In third position, the Polish Kuba Przygonski (KTM 690) completed the list of the top three on two wheels.
"The result was very good. It's my first time at a rally, because I used to race enduro before Sertões. I had little knowledge of how things worked, how tactic to use on each special. The level of competitors was very high, and our team worked very well. My mechanic spent whole nights repairing the bike because of falls in the first two days of rally. Thank God I did not get hurt and it allowed me to keep fighting. I paid for my mistakes, but the experience here was great, and will surely help me a lot in the coming competitions. I still need to learn the some tricks," said Zanol.
"This year the level was very high, with very fast drivers. This created some accidents in the first special because they all rode at a very fast pace. I race with a big bike, fit for the Dakar, so I can say it was hard for me. Anyway, having raced the Sertões was very good for me and I am very happy with my results, especially in the last two stages, which were very good," said Kuba.
112 vehicles complete the Sertões Rally 2010
The 18th edition of Sertões International Rally fulfilled its promise and presented their competitors one of the hardest routes in its history. In the hard journey of 4486 kilometers through six states - Goias, Minas Gerais, Tocantins, Maranhão, Piaui and Ceara - within ten days of race, many vehicles have faced difficulties and did not get to Fortaleza on Friday. Of the 155 that started - 70 bikes, 60 cars, 15 trucks and 10 quads - on August 11, 112 have arrived at the Beach Park - 47 bikes, 45 cars, 12 quads and eight trucks.
Medical Tent Information:
On Friday (August, 20), Sertões International Rally medical staff was back into action, but there were no grave cases.