With his second place in the UAE Desert Challenge in Dubai, the Repsol rider scored the necessary points to take his first world title

The fifth and last leg of the UAE Desert Challenge was held today with two special stages, of 123 kms and 185 kms each, which were won by Cyril Despres. Repsol KTM rider Marc Coma finished third and second respectively. In final results of the Dubai Rally, Despres was first, followed by Coma, who was second in the last scoring race of the year. With this result, the Repsol rider scored 22 points allowing him to clinch the Cross Country Rally World Champion title with 94 points. Championship runner-up was David Casteu, with 82 points and third was Cyril Desprès with 75.

At the age of 28, with a rational driving style and impeccable navigation, Coma had it clear at all times that his aim was the Championship and not the victory of the rally. After a problem with the battery in the first special stage, the Spaniard began to control his rivals from the back. He knew that if he rode mistake-less and avoided to take more risks than necessary his aim would be at his reach. And so it was. He only needed to finish and score points. With the second place in Dubai, Marc Coma took his first FIA Cross Country Rally World Championship title, only a bit more than one month before the start of the 2006 Lisbon-Dakar Rally, his next aim.

Marc Coma: "I'm really very happy. I finished today's stages third and second and the rally in second place, allowing me to score the necessary points to become World Champion. That was my real aim, and not the victory of the Dubai Rally. At the beginning, with the repeated battery problem, things seemed to get complicated, because problems were still following us. But it worked out in the end. The Championship title wasn't really my aim at the beginning of the season, I didn't even think about it, but as the months went by, things were working out, and we started to think about it as a possibility. The title we've clinched today is the result of a good job done by everybody involved; the whole team deserves it. It's one of the happiest days of my life and right now several good moments are coming to my mind. The best of them is the image of the team, we are so close and we do such a good job together. I want to thank the team, my team-mates, the sponsors, my family; in short, I want to thank all those who have supported me and trusted in me."