Marc Coma wins Dakar 2014 and Villadoms makes it a KTM 1-2

“Without the right people behind me it would have been impossible to win,” Coma said. “We have worked very well throughout the race and also before. Last year I went through a very difficult situation not being able to compete because of injury and I came back to win the race. I think this says a lot about the people I have around me. I am very proud of this victory. What was key to winning the Dakar was not to make any mistakes.”

“Without the right people behind me it would have been impossible to win,” Coma said. “We have worked very well throughout the race and also before. Last year I went through a very difficult situation not being able to compete because of injury and I came back to win the race. I think this says a lot about the people I have around me. I am very proud of this victory. What was key to winning the Dakar was not to make any mistakes.”

Dakar Rally 2014 Stage 13: La Serena – Valparaiso Results – Dakar 2014
535 km stage including 157 km special test
1. Joan Barreda, ESP (Honda) 1:59:44
2. Oliver Pain, FRA (Yamaha) 2:00:24
3. Helder Rodrigues, PRT (Honda) 2:01:07
4. Juan Pedrero Garcia, ESP (Sherco) 2:01:19
5. Cyril Despres, FRA (Yamaha) 2:02:14
6. Jordi Viladoms, ESP (KTM) 2:03:15
7. Michael Metge, FRA (Yamaha) 2:03:52
8. Daniel Gouet, CHL (Honda) 2:04:01
9. Jakub Przygonski, POL (KTM) 2:05:00
10. David Casteu, FRA (KTM) 2:07:04

Viladoms, who said after the race that he was “overwhelmed and over the moon” with his result was drafted back into the team after several years away and his second place finish was a personal best for the Dakar veteran.

Viladoms, who said after the race that he was “overwhelmed and over the moon” with his result was drafted back into the team after several years away and his second place finish was a personal best for the Dakar veteran.

2014 Dakar Rally Final Overall Results:
1. Marc Coma, ESP (KTM) 54:50:53
2. Jordi Viladoms, ESP (KTM) 56:43:20
3. Oliver Pain, FRA (Yamaha) 56:50:56
4. Cyril Despres, FRA (Yamaha) 56:56:31
5. Helder Rodrigues, PRT (Honda) 57:02:02
6. Jakub Przygonski, POL (KTM) 57:22:39
7. Joan Barreda, ESP (Honda) 57:44:54
8. Daniel Gouet, CHL (Honda) 58:01:27
9. Stefan Svitko, SVK (KTM) 58:41:03
10. David Casteu, FRA (KTM) 58:49:09
13. Michael Metge, FRA (Yamaha) 60:47:27

KTM Report

Red Bull KTM factory rider Marc Coma coasted into Valparaiso, Chile, on Saturday afternoon to pick up his fourth individual Dakar title and to secure KTM’s thirteenth title in this most toughest of rallies. Factory teammate Jordi Viladoms made it a memorable day for the Austrian manufacturer by finishing second overall.

Factory teammate Jordi Viladoms made it a memorable day for the Austrian manufacturer by finishing second overall.

It was perhaps Coma’s finest victory in his Dakar Career as he led the overall standings from Stage Five. He completed the 13-stage, near 9,000 km course in 54 hours 50.53, almost two hours ahead of second placed Viladoms.

Having to lead from the front for more than half of the rally was also a tribute to Coma’s skill as a rider and tactician and is testament to his physical and mental strength. He completed the rally with three stage wins, four second-place finishes and three thirds.

Coma described his Dakar experience as “an extreme and grueling Dakar” and dedicated the win to “my friend Kurt Caselli”. Caselli, part of the Red Bull KTM Factory team was killed in a race accident in November.

“Without the right people behind me it would have been impossible to win,” Coma said. “We have worked very well throughout the race and also before. Last year I went through a very difficult situation not being able to compete because of injury and I came back to win the race. I think this says a lot about the people I have around me. I am very proud of this victory. What was key to winning the Dakar was not to make any mistakes.”

Coma, who has been a KTM factory rider since 2003, first won in Africa in 2006. He then repeated his success in 2009 and 2011 after the Dakar was relocated to South America. He did not compete in 2013 because of injury.

Understandably, going into the final stage with a massive lead, Coma took it easy in the final stage, finishing in eighteenth place. However the main focus for the factory team was whether Viladoms was going to be able to finish second.

Going into Stage 13 he was challenged for the podium spot by Olivier Pain and Cyril Despres but his sixth place proved more than enough to give him second place on the podium. French rider Pain joined KTM’s two Spanish riders on the podium in overall third.

Viladoms, who said after the race that he was “overwhelmed and over the moon” with his result was drafted back into the team after several years away and his second place finish was a personal best for the Dakar veteran.

KTM can also be well pleased with its two officially supported riders, Jakub “Kuba” Przygonski of Poland and South African Riaan van Niekerk. They finished a very strong sixth and twelfth in the final overall rankings. Eight of the top fifteen finishers were on KTM motorcycles.

Victory in the Dakar 2014 and KTM’s thirteenth title was, as KTM Team Manager Alex Doringer explains, very much a team effort. “The competition is getting tougher and that is a win for the sport, but basically we did what we always do. We work hard. We prepare our bikes in the best way. Our new KTM 450 RALLY bike is fantastic and it is amazing what our technicians built in the short time that we had to do it.”

The 2014 Dakar also represented a return to its roots in terms of levels of toughness that saw only 78 bikes of the original field of 196 starters in the final Stage 13. Riders traveled around 8700 km during the 13 stages, including more than 5,000 in timed specials.

Yamaha Report

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Olivier Pain has taken a hard won podium with third overall in the 2014 Dakar Rally today after 13 extremely challenging stages. Pain engaged in a close battle with teammate Cyril Despres over the last 157 kilometres of the final special, coming home in second to finally win the third place on the podium. Pain had been 40 minutes back from the podium on the rest day, making his attack on the second half of the Rally even more impressive.

Despres had been on track to win his third special aboard his YZ450F machine in a week today to finish just behind Olivier in fourth place in the overall standings. Unfortunately a five minute penalty for speeding resulted in a drop from first on the special to fifth. Despres retained fourth in the standings, less than 15 minutes from second place. The five-time Dakar winner made an impressive comeback over the rally, having been in 12th at the end of stage five and 11th on the rest day. Despite some issues and time penalties, the 2013 champion’s first Dakar with Yamaha showed great potential, with riding hours comparable to the first and second placed riders.

Cyril’s support rider Michael Metge finished the 2014 Dakar with a strong result, taking seventh on the last special of the Rally having set the pace early on in the stage. The Yamaha Factory rider scored his best ever Dakar stage finish of sixth this year to take 13th overall in the final standings.

Venezuelan rider Nicolas Vagnoni’s continued to lead the G2 Marathon class on his Yamaha WR450 machine until the end. With a 41-minute advantage over second place, Vagnoni took a well-deserved class win.

Chile’s Ignacio Casale was the special stage winner again today on his Yamaha Raptor 700 quad to secure yet another consecutive Dakar Rally quad victory for Yamaha. He wasn’t alone on the podium, second place fell to Polish rider Rafal Sonik, making it a Yamaha one-two. The only female quad rider in the event, Italian Camelia Liparoti brought her Yamaha home in 13th overall after an impressive performance.

Olivier Pain – “I’m really pleased to have achieved my goal and got myself and my Yamaha on the podium. After months of hard work, both with the team and the people who help me with my physical preparation it is a source of great satisfaction. To have done so ahead of the ‘King of the Desert’ (Cyril Despres) gives it even more worth. This morning before the start I felt some pressure knowing he was just behind me but it was also an extra source of motivation. And of course this was a particularly hard Dakar so the result has all the more merit. I’m looking forward to celebrating tonight with the rest of the team.”

Cyril Despres – “I attacked so hard on the special that my front disc got really hot, causing the pick up on my tripmeter to malfunction. It meant that I didn’t have the right information on my navigation equipment, which in turn made following the road book difficult. Still, I got close to the podium and have the satisfaction of knowing I gave it my absolute maximum. Congratulations to Olivier. He rode a really good race and thoroughly deserves his podium place – a reward for all the effort the team have put into the rally programme.”

Michael Metge – “Obviously I am delighted to have made it to the finish of what everybody says was an exceptionally hard Dakar. I am also really pleased to have spent it in the company of Cyril and been able to learn so much from him. He has been extremely generous with his many years of experience and for me the whole process has been extremely rewarding – I am sure it will prove very useful in the future. Thank you also to the whole team, both here and back at home, for all the hard work they have put in.”

Alexandre Kowalski – “Yamaha are very proud of this podium and delighted for Olivier, the reward for so many months hard work. This last week in particular has gone very well with 3 special wins for Cyril and a Yamaha on the podium every day. It is just a pity that things didn’t go quite so well on the first week… Now we will go home with a lot of very useful information and start working again so as to be able to come back and win.”

Olivier Pain - “I’m really pleased to have achieved my goal and got myself and my Yamaha on the podium. After months of hard work, both with the team and the people who help me with my physical preparation it is a source of great satisfaction. To have done so ahead of the ‘King of the Desert’ (Cyril Despres) gives it even more worth. This morning before the start I felt some pressure knowing he was just behind me but it was also an extra source of motivation. And of course this was a particularly hard Dakar so the result has all the more merit. I’m looking forward to celebrating tonight with the rest of the team.”

Olivier Pain – “I’m really pleased to have achieved my goal and got myself and my Yamaha on the podium. After months of hard work, both with the team and the people who help me with my physical preparation it is a source of great satisfaction. To have done so ahead of the ‘King of the Desert’ (Cyril Despres) gives it even more worth. This morning before the start I felt some pressure knowing he was just behind me but it was also an extra source of motivation. And of course this was a particularly hard Dakar so the result has all the more merit. I’m looking forward to celebrating tonight with the rest of the team.”

Speedbrain Report

he final stage of the Rally Dakar brought the race to a close without too many challenges. Saturday offered an interesting and changing stage, after what´s been a very demanding and often gruelling two weeks in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The three riders of the Speedbrain Rally Team managed to steer their bikes safely over the finish line. The are delighted to have passed this fantastic adventure together.

The race brought highs and lows for the team. Bottomline: the Speedbrain 450 Rally proved to be a highly reliable motorcycle. But the loss of the top riders Alessandro Botturi and Jeremias Israel Esquerre was a bitter blow. For Botturi disaster struck early on in a treacherous dune section, Israel suffered from a very unfortunate race accident.

The outstanding result for the Speedbrain customer race team is the runner-up spot for Bolivia´s “Chavo” Salvatierra in the production class. All three Speedbrain pilots reached the top ten overall in this category. And Speedbrain is the second best manufacturer from Europe in the Dakar 2014. With over 180 participants, two Speedbrain riders finished the race inside the top twenty overall.

“Chavo” Salvatierra: “It was a great experience, one to remember forever. We are all happy to have successfully mastered the race. Many thanks to the whole team and the sponsors. We were well supported and thanks to Speedbrain for this top bike.”

Paolo Ceci: “This Dakar brought new challenges everyday. It was brutal. Now we´re celebrating our finish. I´m especially delighted having been able to up my pace considerably towards the end, scoring a top twenty result. Thanks to the whole team.”

Pedro Oliviera: “I´m really glad we´re here at the finish. This ranks among the toughest things I ever had to endure. I´m totally satisfied with my 24th place overall.”

Team Coordinator Ulrich Hanus: “We leave South America both in a sad and a happy mood. It´s such a shame that Alessandro Botturi and Jeremias Isreal couldn´t finish the race. They sure would have deserved it. On the other hand Chavo, Paolo and Pedro delivered fantastic performances, all scoring excellent results within their class. We´re also proud of the Speedbrain 450 Rally, a bike that without a doubt has shown its reliability. I believe that our whole package including the team spirit has worked superbly. Many thanks to the whole team, they have supported the riders outstandingly. We are looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”

The team will now enjoy a few days off and recharge thire batteries. But there will be another Dakar in January 2015…