Britain’s Sam Sunderland won the Dakar MotoGP for the second time. The 32-year-old GasGas driver made no major mistakes on the twelfth and final stage through Saudi Arabia to Jeddah and claimed the overall victory. Sunderland won the famous rally on South American soil for the first time in 2017, when he was on a KTM bike.
Chilean Pablo Quintanilla won the final special stage over 164 km and finished second in the standings, 3 minutes 27 seconds behind Sunderland. Austrian Matthias Walkner came third with a time of 6.47.
In recent days, Sunderland, Walkner and Frenchman Adrien van Beveren have rotated at the top of the standings. Van Beveren lost a lot of time in the penultimate stage on Thursday and therefore had to give up the lead in favor of Sunderland, who has a relationship with the Frenchman’s sister.
“I’m very happy,” said the Briton at the end. The last stage was very difficult, I felt a lot of pressure. Sometimes it was the best cheater Mobility. My head nearly exploded and I was afraid I had been driving the wrong way too many times. I’ve had a lot of tough moments in this Dakar Rally, but that’s why this overall victory looks even better. The dream of winning the Dakar Rally for two different teams came true.” At the end of last year, Sunderland replaced the KTM factory team for GasGas, which belongs to the KTM stable. “It’s nice to be able to pay off all the hard work of everyone on this team.”
The Briton finished third in the Dakar in 2019 and last year. He replaces Argentine Kevin Benavides, winner of the rally, via Saudi Arabia.
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