Marc Coma has won the Dakar Rally for the fourth time, after taking victories in 2006, 2009 (when the rally was relocated to South America), 2011 and now in 2014 and giving Austrian manufacturer KTM their thirteenth title in the world’s most famous off road race.
Despite a slow start - last year the 37-year old Spaniard was forced to sit out the rally due to injury – he took the lead in the overall standings from Stage Five, with KTM’s new 450 Rally race bike.
He completed the two week, gruelling 13-stage course across the countries of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile - 8700 km - in 54 hours 50 minutes and 53 second, finishing almost two hours ahead of his nearest competitor, teammate Jordi Viladoms who made it 1-2 for KTM.
Spaniard’s fourth Dakar victory came after taking three stage wins, four second-place finishes and three thirds.
“Without the right people behind me it would have been impossible to win,” said Coma. “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.”
Marc Coma dedicated his win to “my friend Kurt Caselli”.
Caselli was killed in an racing accident in November, during the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000.
For Viladoms, another Dakar veteran, his second place finish was his personal best and he said he was “overwhelmed and over the moon.”
Completing the Dakar podium was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Olivier Pain with his best career result and he was able to beat team mate Cyril Despres who is known as the ‘King of the Desert’ after winning the Dakar Rally five times with KTM, before switching to Yamaha this year and it was the first time he finished outside the podium.
While Joan Barreda who won five of the stages in the 2014 Dakar Rally, and was tipped to win the rally, but he made several errors and his Honda CRF450 Rally suffered an electrical issue on Stage Twelve, which in the end left him 7th overall in the final standings.
Only 78 bikes of the original field of 196 starters were able to complete the final Stage 13 and eight of the top fifteen finishers were on KTM motorcycles.
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