Four times World Champion, Marc Coma, will be competing from tomorrow until Saturday, April 21st in the Sealine Cross-Country Rally event in Qatar. The Arab Emirate will be hosting a World Championship round of the discipline for the first time, setting out a route consisting of a prologue and four stages totaling 1340km. Sandy dunes and intense heat await the Repsol rider as he goes for a second win in the 2012 season.
After an authorative victory in the recent season-opening Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Marc Coma is optimistic about his chances in Qatar. The Repsol rider will be in action over five days, with more than 1300km of rallying standing in his way. 1241km will be contested against the clock, whilst Tuesday’s prologue consists of 11km to kick off the event. Of particular note is Stage 3, the longest of the rally at 365km in length.
Coma will once again be riding a KTM 450 Rally during a demanding week which will put both rider and mechanics to the test. His main rivals are likely to include fellow Spaniards Joan Barreda and Jordi Viladoms, plus Portuguese competitors Paulo Gonçalves and Rubén Faría.
“We are in high spirits heading into this second race of the season. We’ve been able to have a few days off at home and are motivated for this week, so now is the time to get focused on the job at hand. There are a few unknowns for us, because this is a new country for me and a desert in which I have never ridden before. It is going to be different, for example, to Abu Dhabi, despite the two countries being so close together.
We will have a harder terrain here, with more rocks and the need to be alert from the start, because it is a very short race and there is no margin for making up for mistakes. We are going to have to push hard from the start”.