Marc Coma

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Marc Coma
Dakar 2016 - Conférence de presse - 20151118 - 090.jpg
NationalitySpanish
Born (1976-10-07) 7 October 1976 (age 42)
Avià, Barcelona
TeamsKTM
ChampionshipsDakar Rally
Wins5

Marc Coma i Camps (born 7 October 1976) is a Spanish rally racing motorcycle rider. He won the Dakar Rally in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2015 riding a KTM motorcycle, and is also a six-time winner of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Since 2015 he has been a race director of the Dakar Rally.

Early life[edit]

Coma running in the Dakar Rally 2010, near Copiapó.
Marc Coma's KTM 450 Rally

He was born on 7 October 1976 in Avià, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.[1] He started to be interested in motorcycling since childhood. His father, Ricard, became fifth in the Spanish Motocross Championship in the senior category. The first motorcycle he climbed was A Montesa Cota 348 when he was 8 years old. When he got his own motorcycle, he began taking part in regional, provincial and national championships.[2]

Sport career[edit]

Coma started off his professional career as an enduro rider, tasting his first success in the Spanish Junior championships in 1995. The following year, he joined the Spanish national enduro team, which took silver in the World Cup for Nations, before Coma added the under-23 world championship crown to his résumé in 1998. The same year, he helped Spain to win the World Cup for Nations, also contributing to third-place finishes in 2000 and 2001.[3]

2002 marked Coma's first Dakar Rally participation, aboard an unproven Suzuki-CSV backed by compatriot Carlos Sotelo. Coma climbed as high as seventh in the overall classification before retiring halfway through the rally, but his performance caught the eye of the factory Repsol-backed KTM team, which he joined in 2003. He finished third in four stages, but could finish no higher than 18th overall, and would retire from the rally in 2004 after suffering head injuries in a crash.[4] The same year, he won the Baja España Aragón en route to seventh place in the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.

2005 saw Coma take his first stage win in the Dakar and finish a close runner-up to KTM teammate Cyril Despres by a margin of under 10 minutes. He also contested four of that year's World Championships rounds, and victory in the Argentina-based Rally Por Las Pampas and Egyptian Rallye des Pharaons was enough for him to clinch the title. Despite failing to win any stages, Coma took his first overall Dakar victory in 2006, after which he successfully defended his Cross-Country Rallies title with five successive victories.[5]

Coma dominated the 2007 Dakar Rally, winning three stages to build up a lead of almost an hour over his closest rival, Despres, before a navigational error and a crash with two stages remaining forced him to retire.[6] He nonetheless was able to take a third Cross-Country Rallies title with another five victories that year. The Dakar was cancelled in 2008, Coma retiring early on from its replacement, the Central Europe Rally, after fracturing his knee in the second stage.[6] That year, he finished third in the PAX Rally, the second Dakar Series event, and won the Baja España Aragón for a second time.

The Dakar moved to South America in 2009, Coma winning three of the first four stages and securing a comfortable second victory in the event, nearly 90 minutes clear of runner-up Despres. His 2010 challenge was ruined early on by a six-hour penalty for an illegal tyre change,[7] although he still won five stage wins, but he made amends by winning all five Cross-Country Rallies Championship rounds that year to take an emphatic fourth title.[8] This was followed by a third Dakar victory in 2011, during which Coma took another five stage wins to beat Despres by only 15 minutes. The following year's contest was even closer, with Coma and Despres separated by less than two minutes before Coma was forced to concede defeat when he lost 45 minutes due to an engine change penalty.[9]

After winning the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship in 2012, Coma was forced to withdraw from the 2013 Dakar Rally owing to a shoulder injury sustained in the Moroccan Rally.[10] He recovered from this to finish runner-up in the World Championship with three wins, before taking a fourth Dakar victory on his return to the event in 2014 with a further two stage wins. He clinched a sixth world title the same year with victory in Morocco.[11]

Present time[edit]

He is currently taking a position of a Dakar’s Sporting Director, which he got in 2015 by Etienne Lavigne. He commented upon it that: "My first reaction was ‘wow’… I was in shock! Winning the Dakar 5 times was already a dream for me, but now I realise just how lucky I am: being part of the organising team, with this level of responsibility is an opportunity for me to put back into the rally everything that the Dakar has given me".[12]

Dakar Rally results[edit]

Year Class Vehicle Position Stages won
2002 Motorbike Japan Suzuki DNF 0
2003 Austria KTM 18th 0
2004 DNF 0
2005 2nd 1
2006 1st 0
2007 DNF 3
2008 Event cancelled – replaced by Central Europe Rally
2009 Motorbike Austria KTM 1st 3
2010 15th 4
2011 1st 5
2012 2nd 5
2013 Did not enter
2014 Motorbike Austria KTM 1st 2
2015 1st 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2432610/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
  2. ^ http://www.marccoma.com/
  3. ^ The Beginnings Archived 2015-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. marccoma.com Retrieved January 3, 2015
  4. ^ Dakar Objective Archived 2015-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. marccoma.com Retrieved January 3, 2015
  5. ^ Dakar Winner Archived 2015-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. marccoma.com Retrieved January 3, 2015
  6. ^ a b Two Difficult Years for Coma and the Family of Dakar Archived 2015-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. marccoma.com Retrieved January 3, 2015
  7. ^ Marc Coma gets 6-hour Dakar penalty ultimatemotorcycling.com Retrieved January 3, 2015
  8. ^ Five out of Five and World Champion 2010 Archived 2015-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. marccoma.com Retrieved January 3, 2015
  9. ^ "Stage 13 Stage Report". Archived from the original on 6 July 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Marc Coma". Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Marc Coma is 2014 FIM World Cross Country Rallies World Champion". Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  12. ^ https://www.motorsport.com/dakar/news/marc-coma-the-new-dakar-co-pilot/?d=5158&dm=1

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Cyril Despres
Dakar Rally
Motorcycle Winner

2006
Succeeded by
Cyril Despres
Preceded by
Cyril Despres
Dakar Rally
Motorcycle Winner

2009
Succeeded by
Cyril Despres
Preceded by
Cyril Despres
Dakar Rally
Motorcycle Winner

2011
Succeeded by
Cyril Despres
Preceded by
Cyril Despres
Dakar Rally
Motorcycle Winner

20142015
Succeeded by
Toby Price