Sam Sunderland can be called the two-time winner of the Dakar after the last stage of today’s legendary race. The Briton finished third on stage 12 on Friday, which was enough to separate him from his closest competitor Pablo Quintanilla by almost four minutes.
The day also marks a bit of history, as the result of Sunderland GasGas gives its first Dakar Rally, although the machine is largely a redesigned KTM 450 Rally motorcycle. For those who don’t know, GasGas 2019 has become part of the KTM business group.
Therefore, the Sunderland result is a small surprise of KTM’s dominance in the Dakar Rally (19 of the last 22 races)… but not really either. The Austrian conglomerate took first and third places with Matthias Walkner on the lowest podium, while Honda’s Pablo Quintanilla shared the pair on his Honda CRF450 rally motorcycle prepared by HRC.
“Wow. What a feeling! Those 10 minutes of waiting at the end of the last stage to see if I won, it was like a lifetime,” said an exuberant sam Sunderland.
“But this feeling of knowing that I won a second Dakar will remain in My memories forever. This victory is better than the first, because this victory was far from easy. The times were so tight this year and there was no time to release the gas, it was a really tight race, until the end.”
“All the hard work, the sacrifices and everything that the GASGAS team has done for me make everything worthwhile. Five years have passed since my first victory in the Dakar and it has taken a long time!”
“I am super happy to get another victory and to get the first for GASGAS. Everyone on the team worked so hard to achieve this, and it’s a real team achievement – together we got the job done. Incredible.” Found a new home in Saudi Arabia, this is the second Dakar Rally that takes place in the Arab dunes, and future editions should go beyond the borders of the Kingdom.