MRW press release
Victory and lead for Coma
The MRW rider wins the second day and takes the lead of the overall classification. His team mate Joan Pedrero improved eight places and is now in the top ten.
The short stage that started the 2012 Dakar yesterday gave way today to the first stage with proper Dakar length —with nearly 300 timed kilometres— where Marc Coma achieved his first stage victory. The MRW rider completed the 295km stage in 3 hours, 7 minutes and 21 seconds, a result that placed him in first position overall, 2 minutes and a half in front of the Chilean rider “Chaleco” López. With an impressive improvement, Pedrero was today tenth and is now ninth in the overall classification.
Today's stage, with a total of 782 kilometres and one stage of 295km between Santa Rosa de la Pampa and San Rafael, allowed Coma to set the pace, achieving some advantage in the final part of the day, with 39 kilometres over the dunes. In the first 200 kilometres, held on stony tracks, Cyril Desprès was the fastest, improving from the thirteenth position he set yesterday. But in the last 60 kilometres —with nearly 40km on the grey volcanic sand of El Nihuil—, Coma was able to reverse the situation, finally winning the stage.
Good feelings too for Joan Pedrero, who starting from eighteenth position after his result yesterday, was able to improve nine places in the overall standings. After a first stage where he was very cautious, the MRW rider increased today the pace and finished tenth, 9 minutes and 35 seconds behind Coma.
In tomorrow's stage, the riders will follow a 291km connection and then face a 270km stage that will finish in San Juan.
"Today's stage could be divided in two parts. The first one was very fast, all the time at full speed, where it was difficult for me to catch the Aprilia. From that moment on, the stage was more technical, with more dunes and requiring more attention to the riding and navigation.
I felt good and in the end I knew I did everything correctly, though I didn't know the result until I reached the bivouac. I had a good feeling and it was confirmed when I knew I had won the stage. It's better to start well the Rally!".
"The beginning of the stage was fast and I lacked some race pace, but we are improving. Today I started with the idea to push a bit more, to try, and it went fairly well, I felt confident on the bike.
In the last seventy or eighty kilometres, the track was in bad state, with a lot of sand and many holes. But we had a lot of fun, which is what it is about. The bike works great, it surprises me every day".