Marc Coma wins the Rally of Morocco to claim the 2014 FIM World Cross Countries Rally championship

There was plenty of reason inside the KTM camp to celebrate at the end of this week’s Rally of Morocco with Coma winning both the event outright and securing his sixth world title.

Entering the rally locked in a close fight for the title with HRC Honda’s Paolo Goncalves, Coma effectively saw him become the champion on stage five of six when Goncalves crashed and was forced to retire. A steady ride for seventh on the short 113km long stage six allowed Coma to arrive at the finish line as champion.

“We know that the Morocco Rally is one of the toughest on the calendar so we came with tactics not to take any risks for the championship,” told Coma.

“But the feeling is amazing and it’s been a special week full of emotions because I had my birthday, then I won the title and today the win in the rally. To be six-times world champion is not easy. There is a lot of work behind it.”

Delivering one of his most impressive performances in rally to date, Sam Sunderland chased Coma home for second to ensure a 1-2 result for KTM.

Preventing a KTM podium sweep, Honda’s Helder Rodrigues completed the top three.

Enduring a bittersweet Rally of Morocco, Honda’s Joan Barreda was easily the fastest rider of the week. Winning five of the six special stages, the Spaniard’s chances of winning the rally were lost when he was hit with a time penalty for speeding on stage two. He clawed his way back to finish fourth – missing the podium by less than one minute.

Finishing as the highest placed rookie in the race, rally newcomer Toby Price turned a lot of heads with his eight overall that was boosted by a top three result on stage four.

“It’s been an unreal trip,” commented Price. “Just to finish the rally was the main thing for me but I’m stoked on the result that came from it. On day two I had a taillight that snapped off, and somehow played up with my map-reader, so I missed a waypoint and ended up copping a 20-minute penalty because I couldn’t actually scroll my map to follow the course.

“The rest of the week has been about slowly improving and getting better each day. It’s been a pretty good adventure and hopefully it can lead to more rally stuff in the near future.”

Laia Sanz once again shone. Sanz clinched not only victory in the female category, but posted a notable tenth place in the race.

“It’s been a great rally,” said Sanz. “I didn’t push it so much, rather I tried to be consistent and not have any problems. The result was a good one, but the priority was to get some kilometres under my belt, get more training and I think that we accomplished this. I had a good day in the rocks of the fifth stage, but on the whole, I think that I did well over all kinds of ground.”