KTM, Red Bull, Bell helmets, Oakley, USWEhttp://www.ktm.com/racing/rally/riders/sam-sunderland/
2017: 1st (one stage win)
2015: Ab. Stage 4 (one stage win)
2014: Ab. Stage 4 (one stage win)
2012: Ab. Stage 3
2017: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (1st), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (1st), Atacama Rally (4th), Desafio Ruta 40 (10th), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (Ab.)
2016: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (1st), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (2nd)
2015: OiLibya Rally of Morocco (1st)
2014: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (Ab.), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (Ab.), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (2nd), Rally Dos Sertoes (6th)
2013: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (3rd), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (5th), Merzouga Rally (1st)
2012: OiLibya Rally of Morocco (10th), Sardinia Rally (13th)
2011: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (Ab., two stage wins), Australasian Safari (Ab., three stage wins)
Sam Sunderland finally put an end to years of frustration by sweeping to a historic victory in the bikes at Dakar 2017, becoming the first British winner of the world's most famous rally. The 28-year-old's three previous attempts had all ended in retirement - either due to mechanical issues (2012, 2014) or a crash (2015) - but last year he managed to weather all storms to finish 32 minutes clear of Red Bull KTM Factory teammate Matthias Walkner. Born in Southampton, Sunderland grew up in Poole and discovered motocross at the age of seven. But it was at 19 that things really changed, when he went to stay with his aunt and uncle in Dubai and started racing the local Baja series "just for fun". The rest is history, and having signed for Honda in 2011 and KTM in 2014 he remains based in the United Arab Emirates to this day, where he has developed into one of the most talented desert riders in the world. He picked up where he left off after Dakar 2017 by storming to wins in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, but after being sent out in heavy rains in Morocco and "drowning the bike", he was forced to settle for fifth place in the Cross-Country Rallies world championship. Now he is looking forward to defending his Dakar title on KTM's all-new 450 Rally, even if he is expecting some stiff competition.
"It's been a good year since the Dakar win, even if there is a lot of expectation and a lot of weight on my shoulders. You get people coming up and saying 'well done', and it's nice to see the passion in their eyes. They're pumped with what you've achieved. You even get it from guys you look up to - I went to Goodwood this year and Mark Webber came up and congratulated me. So small things like that are really nice. Now I just have to crack on and keep going. It's human nature to want more! You can't sit around, you've got to go out and get it. It was frustrating what happened in Morocco, that was a big let-down, but it's all good. The new bike is awesome, with better safety and handling, it's a big step for us. I'm really looking forward to getting going. For me there are probably 10 guys that can win the Dakar, 10 guys that I consider a big threat. But that's good - it makes the sport more interesting.”
RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM
The Emilie Poucan Prize for the best photo of the 2018 edition of the Dakar has been unanimously awarded by the jury* to Eric Vargiolu, a photographer for the DPPI agency who is covering his 40th Dakar this year:
“I had studied this stage and observed that the first cars were going to set off at 6 o’clock in the morning, when the sun would be rising and that...
38-year-old Axel Dutrie took his first stage win at the Dakar and showed his gallantry by helping another competitor.
It happens dozens of times on the courses of the Dakar. Competitors helping one another in their time of need, far away from the fight for glory. Yesterday afternoon, 38-year-old quad driver Axel Dutrie screeched to a...
Sam Sunderland has dropped out of the Dakar! The winner in 2017 and current general standings leader has a problem with his back and has been evacuated to the bivouac.
The title holder won the day’s stage, but received a warning sign from the desert itself.“It was good. On the first loop I felt really strong, but then the second loop was a bit tricky in a few spots. I managed to miss one drop in the dunes and had a small crash which was a bit scary. I was trying to push today; that was my plan. There were a few...
Super Sam Sunderland has set the record straight in style after a rather lukewarm showing yesterday. The excellent Englishman grabs his second stage victory in 2018 with an impressive lead over his rivals. Kevin Benavides put up the best resistance to the KTM rider’s performance, finishing the day a little more than three minutes behind...
Super Sam Sunderland is determined to claw back ground after an average performance yesterday. The winner in 2017 has set off like a bat out of hell and currently boasts the best time after 50 km, though Franco Caimi’s and Toby Price’s times are not yet available. Xavier de Soultrait is also looking good, just 39 seconds behind the...
The defending champion of the motorcycle category could not have asked for a better start to the rally.
"I'm happy to start like this, but it's just 30 km, so it doesn't mean so much right now. It's just day one of a long race. Of course I pushed hard, it's a race, huh? At any rate, I won the Dakar and I'm back here with a win, it's always good."
Sam Sunderland started his title defence in the best possible way by posting the fastest time in the inaugural special of the 2018 Dakar. The official KTM rider is now the first leader of the rally after beating a solid Adrien van Beveren (Yamaha) and Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) by 32", with Joan Barreda (Honda) in fourth place but still within...
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