Marc Coma claimed his fifth Cross-Country Rallies World Championship title after a successful stay in Sardinia. Marc finished third overall at the Sardinia Rally Race and the result was enough to see him crowned World Champion once again.
That’s your first goal of the season in the bag, how satisfying is it to become a World Champion for the fifth time?
I’m very satisfied. It has been a very intense first part of the season with many races and I’m very happy because after the Dakar this title is our main goal of the year. I’m delighted to achieve this goal, to finish on the podium in Sardinia and to be World Champion for the fifth time.
So how does this latest title compare to all your other successes so far in a glittering career?
The truth is that it has been a very competitive championship this year. There are many manufacturers involved that have put together strong teams with the aim of winning. After the two wins we got in Abu Dhabi and Qatar we built the confidence that helped us to win the title. This result helps us to consolidate our projects and keeps us ambitious. These ambitions include the upcoming Dakar Rally where we have the chance to get a fourth title.
The race in Qatar was a new addition to the calendar this year and there were also changes to the route in Sardinia, did this make things more demanding for you?
Winning this title is always very difficult. Winning this title means you have to be competitive on many different types of terrain, different types of roadbooks and many other factors. The fact that we have won this world championship shows that we are the most complete and competitive team.
These world championship races are much shorter in distance than the Dakar Rally. How do you adjust your strategy to ensure success in this shorter format of racing?
A sprint requires that you plan the race as well as possible because you cannot afford to make any mistakes. You have to be smart with your tactics. Sometimes this strategy works and sometimes it doesn’t. In the first two races of the season it worked out very well but in Sardinia things didn’t go as well as expected. Then the tactic changed to just doing enough to ensure the World Championship was won here.
At the Sardinia Rally Race you rode a KTM 450 EXC-F, a different model to the bike you use at the Dakar Rally. How did you find this machine?
It’s a bit different from what I’m accustom to riding but I had used the same bike to compete in the Baja 500 earlier this year. Here in Sardinia I had some trouble with navigation but by the end of the race I was still in with a chance to win. This bike helped me achieve third place in Sardinia which is a decent result.
You will switch back to your desert bike to race the Pharaoh’s Rally in Egypt, is this where the serious Dakar preparations begin?
The truth is that now I look to the future and see the Pharaoh’s Rally in the distance. After winning the title it is best to rest, recover and prepare for the second part of the season. After enjoying some rest I will then turn my attention to the Pharaoh’s Rally and then the Dakar.
The Dakar Rally is still six months away so what do you hope to achieve between then and now?
In this second part of the season we have the rallies in Egypt and Morocco. The aim is perform well in these races and to be in the best possible shape for the next Dakar Rally.
Some of your Dakar Rally competitors do not participate in the World Championship. What makes you keep coming back to race?
I think every rider designs their season in the way that they consider best for themselves. I believe that the World Championship is a very important title and the races are very demanding tests that allow you to prepare well. It has always been part of our objectives so I see no reason that it shouldn’t remain part of our preparations.
Join Marc and Red Bull’s Hard Enduro team on the final leg of the 2012 Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Next up it’s the Pharaoh's Rally running from September 30 to October 6.