Marc Coma has never turned his back on an Enduro challenge so when the chance to race the Baja 500 in Mexico came his way he jumped into the saddle. The three-time winner of the Dakar Rally will pack his KTM 450 and tackle this fresh adventure in the first weekend of June.
"The idea of one day participating in this rally has always excited me. This is an event that isn’t so well known in Europe, but it is one of the most important off-road challenges around. I don’t want to let an opportunity like this go to waste.”
The Baja 500 along with the Nevada 1000 ranks among the top Enduro challenges on the planet. With over 40 years of proud history the Baja 500 has become one of the best supported Enduro events in the Americas.
The beautiful coastline and national parks surrounding the Mexican city of Ensenada provide the stunning scenery for the race. Coma is looking forward to an entirely different type of challenge compared to the Dakar Rally.
“After so many seasons of riding I am spurred on by the desire to do new things, and an event like this is hugely motivating. I am on a good run of form as well so I’m hoping to secure a good result.”
What makes the Baja 500 stand out from Coma’s usual form of racing is the intense single day format of the rally. The KTM rider will be paired up with a team-mate and together they will cover 724km using the same bike.
Even the navigation is a world away from what Coma has grown accustomed to from racing rally raids all over the globe. The course for the Baja 500 is marked arrows so Coma’s skill of reading roadbooks will be of no use to him in Mexico.
“This rally has a different format to what we are used to. We will have to make the most of the days beforehand to practice and get familiar with what we might find on race day.”
The biker from Barcelona will no doubt be hoping to use his experience of racing the Nevada 1000 back in 2006. During that race Coma tackled over 2,500km of terrain along with his team-mate Kellon Walch.
One thing in Mexico that will be familiar to Coma will be his trusty KTM 450 Enduro machine that continues to serve him well in the FIM World Championship. Wins have come in the first two events of the year - the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Sealine Cross-Country Rally.
Coma will continue his march towards another FIM World Championship after his trip to Mexico at the Rally of Sardinia.