5 days in the past | Phrases: Andy Wigan | Images: GASGAS Bikes
Not going to lie. If we have been going to be speaking about GASGAS profitable the 2022 Dakar Rally, the parochial Aussie in us all hoped that we’d speaking about Daniel Sanders, not his teammate and now two-time Dakar champ, Sam Sunderland. Sadly for Sanders, a liaison-stage crash on Stage 7 (whereas working third general within the standings, and with two stage wins already to his identify) left him with a busted elbow and wrist and that instantly put paid to his Dakar-winning aspirations.
That mentioned, you’ve obtained to tip your hat to Sunderland and to GASGAS for taking their maiden Dakar Rally win in simply their second yr attempting! Positive, the GASGAS Manufacturing facility Racing group had a leg-up within the type of the KTM Group’s confirmed 450cc Rally race bike, group infrastructure and Dakar experience. However that shouldn’t detract from the momentous achievement which, after one of the crucial carefully contested Dakars in historical past, understandably gave rise to emotional scenes in Jeddah after the epic race’s closing stage.
Right here’s the group’s press launch, which displays on their historic Dakar Rally win…
Sam Sunderland and GASGAS Manufacturing facility Racing have gained the 2022 Dakar Rally! Delivering precisely the type of mature, thought-about efficiency we’ve come to count on of the Brit over the past two weeks, in ending eighth in as we speak’s closing stage, Sam has claimed general victory on the 44th Dakar Rally. And, on the finish of 12 gruelling days of racing throughout the Saudi Arabian desert, he’s handed GASGAS our first ever victory on the world’s most iconic rally raid occasion!
Sam Sunderland: “Wow. What a sense! That 10-minute interval ready on the finish of the ultimate stage to see if I’d gained felt like a lifetime. However this sense, realizing I’ve gained a second Dakar, will keep in my reminiscence without end. This win feels higher than the primary as this victory was something however simple. The occasions have been so shut this yr and there was no time to let off the fuel. It was a very shut race, proper to the top. All the exhausting work, the sacrifices, and every little thing that the GASGAS group has executed for me makes all of it worthwhile. It’s been 5 years since my first Dakar win, and it’s been a very long time to attend. I’m tremendous joyful to get one other win and declare the primary one for GASGAS. Everybody on the group has labored so exhausting to realize this and it’s a real group effort – collectively we obtained the job executed. Wonderful.”
Main the race from Stage 2 by to the top of Stage 6, the Dakar started completely for Sam. Driving flawlessly all through the two-week occasion, he delivered the products on a number of events when the strain was effectively and actually on. Aggressive from the very starting, GASGAS Manufacturing facility Racing’s Sam Sunderland is 2022 Dakar Rally champion!
Sam’s second Dakar victory isn’t just an unbelievable private achievement; it additionally marks the return of the title to the KTM AG Firm. With 19 wins within the final 22 years, Sam’s victory re-affirms the group’s dedication and ongoing success on the world’s hardest rally raid.
Whereas it’s all about Sam proper now and his superb achievement, it wouldn’t be proper to log out from Dakar 2022 with out giving Daniel Sanders the credit score he deserves. Our second GASGAS Manufacturing facility Racing star taking over this yr’s occasion, Chucky claimed two superb stage wins, and on the ultimate day of racing in week one, led Sam residence for a GASGAS one-two. A crash on Stage 7 resulted in a fractured elbow and wrist, however the excellent news is that’s he’s had surgical procedure and is now effectively on the way in which to creating a full restoration. He’ll be again on the Dakar in 2023 for an additional run on the title.
Congrats, guys. Benefit from the occasion!
Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Workforce Supervisor: “Wonderful, merely superb! This Dakar was a very difficult race, proper till the very finish, so to win, it’s an unbelievable achievement. All through the entire occasion Sam was good, sturdy, and his pace was distinctive. I’m actually joyful for him and the entire of GASGAS Manufacturing facility Racing. All the group has labored so exhausting to achieve success and it’s a very particular second. There’s no feeling prefer it. I’d wish to thank all the group’s sponsors and companions, everybody in Austria, and now, after two robust weeks, it’s time to have fun!”
OVERALL PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION (AFTER STAGE 12)
1. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 38:47:30
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 38:50:57
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 38:54:17