Marc Coma Dakar Stage 10 Marc on Stage10 of the Dakar ©Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Marc Coma trails Cyril Despres by just 21 seconds after 10 stages of the 2012 Dakar Rally. Marc tells us about his plan for the final few days of the race.

Tomorrow's stage will be a marathon stage so the approach becomes a little different. We will not have any contact with our mechanics and the only parts we will have are the ones we bring with us on the bike. This is just one more thing that we have to manage between two more very long stages in a completely new country. The mechanics get the opportunity to conserve their energy tomorrow and they deserve the chance to rest because everybody has been working so hard this year.

Tonight will be about looking over the bike with the mechanics, they will try to get it in the best shape they can. They will also tell me if there’s anything on the bike that I should take care of out on the stage. Of course we are very thorough with the bike every night but tonight we will not just double check but triple check!

'Tonight we will not just double check but triple check!'

We have experience of these marathon stages and we know we have to be smart about things. A couple of days ago we changed the engine on the bike but you still have to be aware that there will be no mechanics or spare parts at the end of tomorrow’s stage. It’s definitely another interesting element to what has become a very close contest.

This marathon stage comes between two very long stages and things will be tough, but the team are all thinking the right way. We have the correct people around, they have my confidence to do the best job they can.

There is now 21 seconds between Cyril [Despres] and myself, things will be difficult until the end. I tried to push as much as I could to recuperate the 10 minutes I lost on third day. I somehow managed to do that but still I have to keep pushing because there is no other way for me to win the race. I honestly feel that it will really difficult for me to win but we will all try our best in this team.

I will push as much as I can and maybe that will bring home the win but this is not going to be easy.

Keep tabs on Marc’s 2012 Dakar Rally on Red Bull’s dedicated desert classic website.

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