Sam Sunderland - GASGAS Factory Racing cover
Sam Sunderland - GASGAS Factory Racing cover | Foto: Sam Sunderland - GASGAS Factory Racing cover

GASGAS Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland retakes dakar rally lead

Por: Karen Limón

20, January, 2022 en Sports Mode

We said stage 11 was going to be a big day for the Dakar, and oh my gosh, of course it is! After losing a bit of time yesterday, the real pressure fell on Sam today, who no doubt needs to cleanly hold on to his chances of a second Dakar victory. And that’s exactly what he did. With a great performance, Sam was in perfect control, attacked from the start and finished second on the stage, just 4 seconds behind the eventual winner. Now, with just one day left to play, the GASGAS Factory Racing ace leads the leaderboard with a nearly seven-minute lead over his closest rival.

Sam returns to the top of the provisional Dakar leaderboard
Outstanding performance on penultimate stage from Sunderland
One day and just 163 kilometers of racing to go!

Sam Sunderland: “Today was really tough. We expected it to be tough, there was even sand all over the four kilometers. After that, I had to focus on myself and keep an eye on my roadmap, going down the route wasn’t really an option. .I was able to make up some time through the dunes, which was good, I just missed another stage win. So far the race has been going very well, the whole team behind me is great, but the race didn’t end until the end. I Can only hope that it goes well on stage tomorrow and then we will see the final result.”

Sam Sunderland - GASGAS Factory Racing
Sam Sunderland – GASGAS Factory Racing

In rally racing, having a handful of drivers behind the first driver at the start of each stage usually proves to be an advantage, but with the penultimate stage of rallying today so unwieldy, everyone was left alone in the desert. During the challenging 345km special, Sam chose to just focus on his road book and was in excellent shape. He narrowly missed the stage victory, but more importantly, he was leading the rally to the final key race day. It’s go time!

Results (provisional): Dakar Rally 2022, stage 11
1. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 3:30:56
2. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 3:31:00
3. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero) 3:33:22

Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 11)
1. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 37:04:05
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 37:10:57
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 37:11:20