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Sealine Rally – Barreda & Coma Battle
COMA MAINTAINS SECOND IN LEG 3 OF SEALINE RALLY
From KTM – On a day where navigation remained the key issue for riders competing in the Sealine rally in Qatar, KTM factory rider Marc Coma finished Leg Three as part of a closely fought group of four lead riders in second place with a small 2 minute 15 seconds deficit to leader Joan Barreda.
Coma is in second overall about 1 minute 30 behind Barreda. Coma’s factory teammate Jordi Viladoms was fourth and is third overall setting up a battle between these three Spanish riders.
Coma said this year’s edition of the rally was very difficult. “There are longer stages, also for the final two days, and the surface is very stony and white so it is very difficult to see the piste. It’s also wet. We still have a long way to go and after three days of hard riding and we must really stay very focused and try to push.” He said the rally will probably only be decided on the last day.
The KTM factory team’s two other riders, Sam Sunderland of Britain and Portugal’s Ruben Faria finished 6-7 in the stage. Sunderland is sixth overall but Faria, who did not finish on Tuesday, is using the remainder of the rally as training. Sunderland, the team’s newest signing was the Stage 2 winner and had to open the track, a difficult task given how hard the navigation is proving to be. All of the KTM factory riders are competing on the 2014 KTM 450 Rally bike on which Coma in January won his fourth Dakar victory and KTM’s thirteenth.
Wednesday was the longest stage in this year’s rally. Thursday, the penultimate day of the 2014 edition takes riders on a 410.91 km loop stage around southern Qatar, of which 404.18 is timed special. The rally will finish on Friday afternoon after riders complete another 362.97 km of timed special.
Sealine Rally Qatar
Leg Three results 1, Joan Barreda, ESP Honda 4 hours 53.43 2, Marc Coma, ESP, KTM at 4:55.28 3, Helder Rodrigues, PRT, Honda 4:57.45 4, Jordi Viladoms, ESP, KTM 4:59.54 5, Paolo Goncalves, PRT, Honda, 5:01.46 6, Sam Sunderland, GBR, KTM, 5:03.52
7, Ruben Faria, PRT, KTM 5:21.34
Overall standings after Leg 3
1, Barreda 11 hours 10.37 2, Coma 11:11.56
3, Viladoms 11:17.58 4, Goncalves 11:20.13
5, Rodrigues 11:20.32 6, Sunderland 11:25.48