Leading into the final stage of the rally, Coma remained odds-on favourite to secure his second consecutive victory in this year’s championship. Controlling a comfortable six-minute advantage over second placed rider, Yamaha’s Helder Rodrigues, the three-times Dakar Rally winner rode a comfortable pace to record the win.
In what proved to be an exceptionally hi-speed 208km long stage, Coma placed just over two minutes adrift of eventual stage winner Husqvarna’s Joan Barreda.
Showing no ill effects of his near miss with a civil car during stage three of the rally, Barreda yet again set the pace as he collected his third stage win in Qatar. Although severely hampered by his two-hour time penalty for missing a control point during stage two, the young Spaniard continues to become a real threat for victory next time out in Sardinia, Italy.
"I was taking it a bit relaxed today after yesterday’s crash,” confirmed Barreda at the end of stage four. “I’m battered and bruised, but still took one more stage win. Obviously I’m happy to win three stages in total. The goal was a top result overall but that didn’t happen because of the time penalty. For me each race matters to gain experience. I go home with a good feeling, knowing that I’m part of a cool team and on a perfect bike."
Coma Claims His Second Victory Of The Season In Qatar © Bauer E. / KTM Images
Finishing just six seconds behind Coma, Rodrigues placed third on stage four to end his participation in the rally as runner up.
Bordone Ferrari KTM’s Jordi Villadoms capped off a successful week to finish stage four in fourth and third overall in the rally. With Poland’s Jakub Przgonski (KTM) in fourth, Ruben Faria (KTM) finished fifth.
Marc Coma: “Today was very fast though there was nothing very difficult for me. I tried to have fun and stay focused to control the race. The bike worked perfectly and the team prepared everything very well. It was our first time here so its nice to have the victory and it is a good start to the World Championship.”
Qatar Rally, Results, Stage Four
1, Joan Barreda, Spain, Husqvarna 1:54.24
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 2.06
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 2.12
4, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, KTM at 3.30
5, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM at 4.27
Qatar Rally, Final Standings
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 13 hours 54.43
2, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, at 6.05 minutes
3, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, KTM, at 14.11
4, Jackob Przgonski, Poland, KTM, at 19.23
5, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM, at 22.06