An impressive ride from Marc Coma on Day Three of the Sardinia Rally Race secured a stage win for the Spaniard. The result moves Coma closer to extending his lead at the top of the 2012 Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Marc handed out a lesson in Enduro excellence on the island of Sardinia along a tricky technical trail. By the end of the action Marc had reduced the gap between him and rally leader Jordi Villadoms to two minutes.
“I’m happy because today went well," he said afterwards. "I tried to take advantage of my starting position and push to the maximum to recover the time I had lost on the opening days of the race.”
The three-time Dakar champion was prevented from taking the overall lead from Villadoms after the second part of the stage was cancelled due to safety concerns.
“It’s a shame that the second stage was cancelled because in theory it was another opportunity to recover time. In any case, I’m happy because today was more comfortable on the bike so I was able to ride far more confidently.”
Marc had to admit that while more track time would have given him the chance to catch up, it’s not always possible to make predictions when it comes to Enduro.
“You never know what might have happened. We could have ended up losing time in the second stage. One thing's certain, I would have been doing my best to go even faster in the second stage. Now we have two more days to go so the hard work must continue.”
Also performing well on the third day of the Sardinia Rally Race, despite having to make his way through a crowd of traffic, was Marc’s team-mate Joan Pedrero.
“Today was not too bad but I paid for yesterday’s result by having to deal with a lot of dust," he said. "The tracks were very narrow and the dust was an issue throughout the day. I was the 15th rider out today and overtaking was risky. I went off the road at a curve and came very close to the edge of a cliff. I was lucky to get the bike back on the road.”
Joan maintained his 10th position in the overall rankings and was able to look on the bright side with two days remaining in Sardinia.
“The positive thing is that I’m learning a lot because this race requires great attention to the roadbook. Everyday I’m feeling better about my navigation skills and this is very satisfying.”
After a shortened special stage of 69kms on Day Three, the bikers will be back tomorrow for a monster 180km of timed track to complete.
Day three results
1. M. Coma 1:20:31
2. S. Peterhansel +00:02:12
3. R. Faria +00:02:22
4. A. Botturi +00:02:50
5. H. Rodrigues +00:02:57
... 11. J. Pedrero +00:04:18
1. J. Viladoms 7:22:43
2. M. Coma +00:02:27
3. A. Botturi +00:05:49
4. H. Rodrigues +00:06:04
5. G. Farrés +00:07:52
... 10. J. Pedrero +00:15:36