KTM riders swept the podium at the Sardinia Rally Race, the third in the four round series for this year’s World Cross Country Rally Championship. In the final shakeout it was Spain’s Jordi Viladoms that took the glory with Italy’s Alessandro Botturi in second and KTM factory rider Marc Coma was third.
Coma, who won the two opening rounds – the Dubai Desert Challenge and the Sealine Rally in Qatar, also secured the 2012 World Championship title rendering the final round at the Pharaons Rally in Egypt in autumn a mere formality. KTM’s multiple Dakar winner therefore collects more silverware for his already impressive collection.
Overall the Sardinia rally was a good one for the Austrian specialist brand of sports motorcycles. KTM riders took six of the top ten places in the overall standings after the fifth stage and Coma’s KTM factory teammate Ruben Faria sealed the final stage. The Portuguese rider had earlier incurred a 45-minute penalty to finish 15th overall. Teammate Joan Pedrero of Spain was ninth overall.
Coma had gone into the final two stages on Thursday in second place and with the intention of hunting down leader Villadoms but this was not to be his day. He had some small problems with his brake in the first stage and made an uncharacteristic navigation error in the second. He crossed the line with a 10 minute 47.03 deficit on the leader.
The five-day event was scheduled later in the calendar than usual and riders were hampered by searing, strength-sapping heat. The marathon stage planned for the third day was scrapped because of the threat of forest fires on the Italian island
Final overall results
1, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, KTM, 11 hours 47 minutes 33.2
2, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, KTM at 9 minutes 38.69
3, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 10.47.03 4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 12.12.21
5, Paolo Ceci, Italy, KTM at 14.36.22
6, Stephane Peterhansel, France, 20.53.55
7, Paulo Goncalves, Portugal, Husqvarna, 21.05.54
8, Gerard Farres, Spain, KTM, 24.8.92
9, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM, 24.58.92
10, M. Lucchese, Italy, Husaberg, 32.31.90
11, Jakub Przgonski, Poland, 38.46.50
12, M. Graziani, Italy, KTM, at 42.12.00
15, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM at 1.03.58.17 (includes 45 minute penalty)