KTM, Red Bull, Bell helmets, Oakley, USWEhttp://www.ktm.com/racing/rally/riders/sam-sunderland/
2018: Ab. Stage 4 (two stage wins)
2017: 1st (one stage win)
2015: Ab. Stage 4 (one stage win)
2014: Ab. Stage 4 (one stage win)
2012: Ab. Stage 3
2018: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Atacama Rally (Ab.), Rallye du Maroc (9th)
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's title defence got off to a dream start at Dakar 2018, as the Englishman swept to victory on Stages 1 and 3 to open up a 4'38" lead at the top of the standings. But disaster struck after the mass start on Stage 4: the Red Bull KTM man missed a pocket in the dunes and suffered a back injury which spelled the end of his rally. It wasn't the first time Sunderland's Dakar experience has ended in frustration, after retirement in his first three participations (mechanical issues in 2012 and 2014, followed by a crash in 2015). But he put all of that behind him with a sensational ride at Dakar 2017, becoming the first-ever British winner of the world's most famous rally. Along with fellow Red Bull KTM Factory teammates Toby Price and Matthias Walkner -both former winners themselves- Sunderland will once again be among the favourites for overall victory in the bikes category. Born in Southampton, Sunderland grew up in Poole and discovered motocross at the age of seven, before moving to Dubai as a teenager and developing a taste for cross-country rallies. Having signed for Honda in 2011 and KTM in 2014, he has become one of the most talented desert riders in the world, and now splits his time between France and the United Arab Emirates. In this year's FIM World Championship he finished second in Abu Dhabi before suffering a fractured foot in Chile, but he was back on form in Morocco and is now looking forward to another tilt at the Dakar trophy.
“I'm feeling good! I rode well in Morocco, the speed and navigation were really good. In Peru I think it's going to be very strategic, what with losing time when you open the stage in the dunes. We'll have to plan for that as best we can. It's good with Toby and Matthias, because we can push each other along in the team. I don't feel more pressure from it. Sometimes it's good to use one of those guys as a base for where you're at. It's good that we can speak to each other. And [Sport Manager] Jordi Viladoms is there to help out with his experience.” “Last year was obviously disappointing because I was bike number 1 and leading by about six minutes. I didn't actually crash. I couldn't find a waypoint and I missed a pocket in the dunes, it just caught me off guard. I hit the seat and there was a huge compression up my back. I continued for maybe 10 or 15 kilometres, but then I couldn't feel my legs, it was a bit scary. But that's all behind me now. I feel really good, back at 100 per cent, we've put a lot of work in and now we just keep ramping up until Dakar. I'd say there are six or seven guys who really have a chance to win it.”
RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM
Sam Sunderland has moved in front of Kevin Benavides after 50 km of the special. The KTM rider leads his Honda rival by 28 seconds and could be in for a stage victory, since the two men have nothing to ride for in the general standings.
The top bikers are starting to appear. Sam Sunderland clocked the best time at CP1, a second ahead of Adrien Van Beveren. The gaps are still very small, with just half a minute separating the top seven riders.
Sam Sunderland and Kevin Benavides, who finished yesterday's stage still in contention for the top step of the podium in Lima, have received a 1- and 3-hour penalty, respectively. The KTM rider is now ninth and the Honda rider fourteenth.
Sam Sunderland started the stage late due to an Iritrack problem and had to ride part of the special in the cars’ dust. It did not stop him from finishing the eighth stage in fourth position, a little more than six minutes behind Walkner, a gap and place identical to the one he occupies in the general standings.
“I arrived at the start and the guy said that...
Sam Sunderland came out on top in the loop around San Juan de Marcona. He now stands less than 10 minutes behind the new overall leader, Ricky Brabec. The British rider, fourth overall, is just one second ahead of Pablo Quintanilla, who lost time today.
"Yesterday was a big disappointment. I rode fast and navigated well, but the type of special played into the hands of...
Sam Sunderland bounced back from yesterday's debacle to claim stage 7, his second victory in the 2019 Dakar. The KTM rider was 1'51" faster than José Ignacio Cornejo, who also managed to dodge all the navigational pitfalls.
Sam Sunderland's lead has ballooned after his main rivals made a mistake about 250 km into the special. The factory KTM rider now holds a margin of 6′53″ over teammate Luciano Benavides, back in second place.
Sam Sunderland's Dakar has been a mixed bag so far, but the Englishman looks in great shape today, capitalising on his position as the 12th rider on the road to open up a gap of 2'18" on Toby Price after 200 km of racing. Adrien Van Beveren is 4'39" adrift, with Pablo Quintanilla struggling at 9'06". However, take these numbers with a pinch of salt, as we have yet to receive...
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