Dakar rally runner-up begins new Raids World Championship with Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, a race that he has won five times previously.
Marc Coma, winner of the past three editions of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, will take part in the first round of the 2012 Cross Country Rally World Championship at the famous event from the 1st-6th of April. The Repsol rider will be covering over two thousand kilometres in the event, with 1,520 of those against the clock, as he looks for victory at a meeting in which he has been the winner on five occasions (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 y 2011).
After the Sunday prologue, the event itself begins on Monday with the first of five stages which kick off the season. Dunes, white sand and extremely high temperatures are what await Coma as he passes through the Al Gharbia region and the Liwa desert. Every kilometre will count over the five days and mistakes will be difficult to recover from, whilst the toughest stage will be number four: 500km long, with 318 against the clock.
The Repsol rider will once again be behind the bars of a KTM 450 Rally, competing in a race characterized by high temperatures and high physical demands.
"It’s more than two months since the Dakar ended and we have been able to rest up and prepare for this race. I’m raring to go and am really excited about the challenge ahead. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is always a very demanding event, above all because of the temperatures —which reach over 40 ºC.
You can’t afford to make any mistakes there either. It is a short race and very intense, so the most important thing is not to put a foot wrong. There is simply no room to make up lost time. What’s more, nearly all the big names from the Dakar will be there, so it will be important to be at our best every day".