Dakar: KTM stage 13 report

Coma crashes out Marc Coma (KTM Repsol) has crashed out of the Dakar. The leader of the general rankings lost his direction after 34 km of the day's special stage, and while he was following a track 6 km parallel to the ideal route he crashed ...

Coma crashes out
Marc Coma (KTM Repsol) has crashed out of the Dakar.

The leader of the general rankings lost his direction after 34 km of the day's special stage, and while he was following a track 6 km parallel to the ideal route he crashed after 57 km of the special stage and was taken back to the bivouac by helicopter.

Coma was unconcious for a while. After examination he did not seem to be seriously wounded, although he was complaining about his neck and internal organs. He was taken to a hospital in Dakar to undergo more tests and a brainscan. He is to stay under observation for at least another day.

Isidre Esteve (KTM Gauloises) also had a disastrous 13th stage. 500 m from CP1 the Spaniard fell. Fortunately he was without injury but his bike was broken. With parts of Coma's bike, that was taken to CP1 by helicopter, Esteve managed to repair his bike and continued the stage. He finished in 124th position and was exhausted when entering the bivouac in Tambacounda.

'After a crash, a few hours of repairing and then riding again, I am very tired. I asked the officials at CP1 if I was allowed to use the radiators and a pin for the roadbook from Marc's bike. I'm happy to be here and still in the race. I don't want to give up when I'm unhurt and there is a chance to repair the bike. I want to finish in Dakar with my team. Besides that Cyril and David might need my help tomorrow. If I can help them to finish one and two, I'd be happy to do that.'

The standings were shaken up by the accident of Coma. Cyril Despres (KTM Gauloises) is now the leader, followed by his team mate David Casteu (at 35.28) and KTM Red Bull-rider Chris Blais (54.52). Esteve tumbled to 12th.

It was not easy, the 260 km timed special between Kayes (Mali) and Tambacounda (Senegal). Despres was happy with his stage victory and his surprise leading position. 'But most of all I am happy that Marc seems to be okay. It was a difficult stage, especially on navigation. Many people got lost at km 6. I could catch up because of that. There was a lot of dust and visibility was poor. It was hard to see the holes in the track.'

-credit: ktm

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Cyril Despres , Marc Coma , Chris Blais , David Casteu