The Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team is making its final preparations for the 2015 Dakar Rally and can reveal this year’s team livery for multi-time Dakar winner and this year’s Cross Country Rallies World champion Marc Coma, 2014 Dakar runner-up Jordi Viladoms, along with Ruben Faria and Sam Sunderland.
The team’s recent test held a few weeks ago was deemed a success, as adjustments were made ready for the prestigious race, which begins on January 4th 2015. With a new KTM 450 RALLY factory machine launched just ahead of this year’s event, in which Marc Coma and Jordi Viladoms went on to take the top two positions, the team has twelve months more experience with its race bike and only minor refinements have been made in preparation for the most important race of the year for the rally squad.
Coma has had a superb season, as he took victory in the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship with consistently strong performances to add to his extensive accolade, which includes four Dakar wins. The Spanish-ace is once again meticulously preparing everything for the 2015 edition of the race with one intention, to continue KTM’s 13 consecutive Dakar wins for another year. He is joined again by fellow countryman Viladoms, who had nearly no preparation on the KTM machine last year and has been able to build on his runner-up success while having a real preparation for the 2015 rally with the entire KTM team.
Unfortunately for Ruben Faria, who was ruled out of last year’s event in the early stages, his preparations have been more difficult, as a shoulder injury has thwarted his progress in recent weeks. The Portuguese rider expects to be at full fitness ahead of the Dakar race. Finally, the team apprentice and British star Sam Sunderland has had a strong preparation for this year’s rally with good results during the year, despite some injury niggles, and he will be looking to extend his results as he learns from his colleagues after taking a stage win in the 2014 Dakar.
Additional KTM factory supported riders
There are also other notable contenders aboard KTM machinery with Polish rider Jakub Przygonski (Orlen Team) continuing to work with the factory team, and Dakar-beginners Austrian Matthias Walkner (Betsafe KTM Rally Factory Racing Team), and Australian Toby Price (KTM Rally Factory Racing Team) looking to embark on their first South American rally journey.
Alex Doringer (KTM Rally Team Manager): “We have a strong team again, and now a year on working with the bike, which we know is already proven, we have a lot of confidence again for this rally. For sure it’s one of the most difficult races in the world and anything can happen, but we are ready. We have of course a lot of experience in the team, and now with Sam on board we can look at the future. It’s always a busy time as we make these final preparations, but we are happy with the progress and looking forward to getting to the start line in January.”
The rally begins in Argentina in Buenos Aires and navigates over 9000km of a variety of terrain and altitudes through Chile, Bolivia and back into Argentina. It’s a massive test of endurance for both man and machine, with the calculations, speed, navigation comprised with the physical and mental test that riders take on each day. Anything can happen during the race, which takes place over 14 days including one rest day, and the Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team is looking to fend off the competition once again for victory.