Coma clinches 2014 World Cross Countries Rally Championship.
Red Bull KTM’s four-time Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma wrapped up his 2014 rally season in style on Thursday, taking victory in the Morocco Rally; the final round of the FIM World Cross Countries Rally Championship and securing the world title.
Coma went into the final round with a narrow lead in the points over Portugal’s Paolo Goncalves, but had effectively settled the title issue after Wednesday’s fifth stage after Goncalves crashed and had to retire.
KTM Factory rider Sam Sunderland finished second overall for one of his best results since joining the team, while Helder Rodrigues of Portugal was third.
“We know that the Morocco Rally is one of the toughest on the calendar so we came with tactics not to take any risks for the championship,” COma said. “But the feeling is amazing and it’s been a special week full of emotions because I had my birthday, then I won the title and today the win in the rally. To be six-times world champion is not easy. There is a lot of work behind it.”
Coma finished the six stage Morocco Rally with a stage score of 3-2-5-1-8-7. He took the overall lead in stage two and then again from the final three stages.
Victory in the final round concludes a great season for the KTM Factory rider. He won his fourth Dakar title in January, took second place in the first three rounds of the World Championship, the Desert Challenge (Abu Dhabi), the Sealine Rally (Qatar) and Sardinia Rally (Italy). He then won the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil before bringing his season to a successful conclusion this week in Morocco.
The Morocco Rally was also the rehearsal for the Dakar 2015 and KTM’s other factory riders finished with Ruben Faria in fifth, Jordi Viladoms in sixth and Chaleco Lopez in seventh.
Also impressive were the debut rides in international rally by Australia’s Toby Price in eighth overall and the factory team’s latest signing, Austria’s Matthias Walkner who finished 11th. Their solid results indicates that the KTM factory team also has the next generation on its radar screen.