The Repsol rider is fifth in the first stage of the rally, which finishes next Saturday
Yesteray the latest Pharaons Rally competition began in Cairo, an event which Marc Coma has won three times (2005, 2006 and 2007) and, in which he will be looking to clock up the necessary points to win a new Raids World Championship. More than 2,500 kilometres await the Repsol rider, 2,175 of which are against the clock, in six days of competition that started this morning with a special stage of 366 kilometres, in which Marc Coma finished in fifth place.
The competitors fired up their vehicles alongside the Pyramids of Giza and, after a link of 56 kilometres to head there, a special stage of 366 kilometres started, to El Rammak. Marc Coma was first out and completed the stage in 3 hours, 34 minutes and 59 seconds, 16 minutes and 26 seconds off the time of Chaleco López, winner of today’s stage. The Repsol rider started cautiously due to it being the first day and having to go out first. However, he was penalised for a small technical problem with the trip, the navigation instrument which permits the riders to measure the distances to locate the roadbook notes.
Today the competitors will set a course for the south of the country, as on Wednesday and Thursday they face the longest special stage of the rally, 434 kilometres against the clock, returning north-east where, on Friday they arrive at Siwa. From there, on Saturday, they again head north-east to finish the event on the Mediterranean coast, at El Alamein.
“I took it very easy, avoiding taking too many risks. We started well even though it was a bit complicated, mainly because of going out first and a small technical problem with the trip. In fact, it broke and there was nothing that could be done to fix it. The first outing onto the terrain and the initial pace are very important factors to take into account.
Bit by bit we will start entering desert terrain but, for the moment, tomorrow’s stage of 350 km will be very fast. The most technical areas will come later. After the Dos Sertoes rally, all the testing has been done with the small bike and here, for the last time, we´ll be competing with the KTM 690. I’m going into this rally with lots of determination and with the hope that we can achieve our dream.”