Marc Coma to race Baja 500

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Marc Coma racing the Baja 500? The Mexicans won't know what hit them ...
Marc Coma racing the Baja 500? The Mexicans won't know what hit them ...
Marc Coma racing the Baja 500? The Mexicans won't know what hit them ...
Marc Coma racing the Baja 500? The Mexicans won't know what hit them ...

Marc Coma is best known for being “that guy who dominates the Dakar Rally,” but that might be about to change.

Coma and teammate Cyril Despres have won at Dakar for years, but except for a 2006 appearance at the Nevada 1000, Coma hasn’t attended the Baja events. His  reputation as a desert racer comes from rally raid wins all over the world, but not Mexico.

It’s possible that could change soon, though, with word that Despres will be entering the Baja 500 race next weekend. He’ll be racing for Team KTM USA aboard a KTM 450 enduro bike .

While the Dakar races are internationally famous and often hinge on a rider’s ability to navigate their heavily loaded desert bikes through the dunes for two weeks, the Baja races are mostly popular in North America (thanks to a little movie named Dust to Glory) and often involve lighter, more stripped-down motorcycles going flat-out for a day. It’s a 24-hour sprint, not a two-week marathon.

Coma says he’s looking forward to the opportunity to race in Mexico, even though it’s different from what he’s used to. Who knows? If he’s able to make a strong showing, maybe he’ll return to race the Baja 1000 in the fall, and give Johnny Campbell’s team a run for their money.

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