Everything changed at the top of the overall standings in today’s stage of the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil with Marc Coma losing the lead to Yamaha’s Cyril Despres after the former had issues with the rear wheel of his KTM. By the end of today’s marathon stage, Coma had slipped to seventh overall and some 38 minutes behind Despres.
Riders in today’s stage weren’t able to gain any mechanical assistance and had to start the day with what the motorcycles in the same condition as they finished yesterday’s stage. In all, the two-day marathon saw them complete some 403 miles of racing.
Despres beat Jean Azevedo today, the Brazilian five-time winner of the rally finishing second on the Honda Rally Mobil – 59 seconds behind Despres. Pole Jakub Przygonski ended up third on his KTM.
In the overall results, the fight goes on with Speedbrain Rally 450’s Paulo Goncalves, who was sixth today, second overall and five minutes and 15 seconds behind Després. Jakub is third – 22:08 behind the leader.
There will be endurance test tomorrow with riders set to enter the dreaded Jalapao desert with 462 miles to navigate. Competitors will make a loop, leaving Palmas and returning to Palmas.
“It’s so cool to get to Palmas and have the beach waiting for us,” said Despres after his win. “I feel renovated after spending so much time under the sun with all the protective garment, helmet and boots, and diving in this river. As for the competition, the Marathon is a little different because you have to take care of the bike, the tires and focus, in order not to make any mistakes. It was a fast day, a nice special, but you can not speed up too much since it’s the final part of the Marathon. It takes speed to win Sertões, but not every day. The bike impressed me, it went very well, as well as the tires.”
Coma, meanwhile, described his problems.
“I had a problem on the rim of the rear wheel,” he said. “So I had to come slowly to the end, because there was no way to push too hard. Unfortunately, this happens.”