Coma lifts fourth Dakar crown

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Marc Coma has dedicated his fourth Dakar win to friend and teammate Kurt Caselli, who was killed while competing in November’s Baja 1000, after winning the race by almost two hours.

The Spaniard says that he was lucky to even finish the race, as the organisers strategy to turn the race into even more of an epic saw only 78 finishers out of 178 starters.

"The first week of the race it was like hell. I really agreed with those who say it has been the hardest. At least this 2014 Dakar has been the toughest in my life, at least among all I raced in the last years. I never found any Dakar easy, but for the bikers this year has been crazy.”

"There were moments when I really thought I couldn't stand. Especially the days with the flu, I barely could speak after each stage. I couldn't ride putting the five senses in the trail, I couldn't focus and concentrate properly, as the rally requires, so I was afraid of making mistakes and having an accident.”

Coma also applauded his KTM team for their hard work, something echoed by team boss Alex Doringer.

“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. The first few days were very intense for the riders and the team as we all traveled a lot of distance with very little sleep. But we managed to get a small gap ahead, and Marc did an excellent job, especially as I believe this to have been the most difficult Dakar since it moved totally to South America.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer