'Death is part of the Dakar' - Marc Coma pays tribute to Paulo Gonçalves

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<i> Image: Twitter </i>
<i> Image: Twitter </i>

Dakar icon Marc Coma paid tribute to former rival Paulo Gonçalves after the Portguese Hero motorcyle competitor died after crashing on the seventh stage of the rally in Saudi Arabia. 

Gonçalves, 40, was declared dead at Layla hospital after being airlifted from the scene around 276km into the seventh stage from Riyadh and Wadi ad-Dawasir. 

The Portuguese rider was competing in his 13th edition of the Dakar. He made his debut in 2006 when it was staged in Africa, and took second to Marc Coma in 2015 in South America. 

Coma, a five-time motorcycle champion for KTM in the Dakar Rally, remembered the Portuguese rider when he spoke to Toyota motorsport's Danny Chen. 

"It's a really difficult day for the Dakar family and I would like to give all my support to the family and team. It's the price that we have to pay, but it's part of our life", Coma said. 

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