KTM’s three times Dakar winner and factory rider Marc Coma has been drafted into the rider line-up for the Factory FMF/Bonanza Plumbing/KTM/Baja Team to compete in the 44th Annual running of the Tecate SCORE/Baja 500 event held in Ensenada, Mexico June 3-5, 2012.
He joins leader Kurt Caselli and teammates Mike Brown and Ivan Ramirez to attack the challenging race on the ‘7X’ KTM 450 XC-F racing machine. Coma participated in the 2006 Baja Nevada 1000 as teammate to Kellon Walch but this is the first time he will tackle the ‘500’. The Spanish rider comes to the US team with impeccable credentials in desert racing and in top form. While his Dakar record speaks for itself, he has also won the first two of four rallies in the 2012 Cross Country Rally World Championship being first to the flag in the Dubai Desert Challenge and the new Qatar Sealine Rally.
“The idea of one day participating in this rally has always excited me,” said Coma. “This is an event that isn’t so well known in Europe, but it is one of the most important off-road challenges around. I don’t want to let another opportunity like this go to waste. After so many seasons riding I am spurred on by the desire to do new things, and an event like this is hugely motivating.” Coma has been drafted into the US team to replace the injured Quinn Cody.
“We needed an additional rider for our team after Cody was injured earlier this season,” stated Team Manager Antti Kallonen. “We are very excited to announce that our search brought one of the most gifted and well-decorated rally racers of our time, Marc Coma.”
The team is fronting a formidable lineup. Caselli, the reigning AMA National Hare & Hound and WORCS Champion, is known for his desert racing skills and will be the starting rider. Second off will be Brown who has an extensive background in Motocross and Supercross racing and transitioned to off-road racing five years ago. The SCORE/Baja 500 event marks Brown’s second SCORE event.
Returning to the 7X team is Mexico native Ivan Ramirez. The popular Mexican rider is well known in the SCORE/Baja events and a great asset to the KTM team. Ramirez and Caselli teamed up for the SCORE/Baja 250 race earlier this season and were able to take home the first win for both riders in that series.