GASGAS Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland tops provisional standings by over four minutes
after great day in desert
Another hot and tough day in the desert, but GASGAS Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland
braved the heat and came out fighting. Placing as runner-up on the 290km stage three of
the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge the RC 450F racer now leads the provisional rally standings
by four minutes and twenty-four seconds, with two days left to race.
“Another long, tough day here at the Desert Challenge – it’s so hot here, it seems like they
turned the cooker on for us when we arrived,” said Sunderland. “It makes it tough on
everyone I suppose. I rode on my own for most of today, which makes it tough to gauge
your rhythm against the rest of the field, so I just tried to push and push. I’m back at the top
of the overall now, but I think with two days left to go it’s going to be really close to the
Faced with soaring temperatures of up to 40 degrees in the Liwa Desert, the racers faced a
tough day of racing on stage three. Making up the second leg of the event’s marathon
stage, the third day of the event was very challenging with a 255km timed special made up
primarily of tricky to navigate dunes.
After his ninth-place finish on stage two, Sunderland was able to get his head down and
chase down the rider ahead of him. Despite pushing hard throughout the stage, the reigning
Dakar Champion ended up racing much of the special on his own. Maintaining a strong pace
and keeping a strong mind, the super-fast Brit was able to bring his bike safely home to the
finish in second place, after close to three and a half hours in the saddle.
Sunderland now enjoys an advantage of over four minutes ahead of his nearest rival. Two
days of racing remain.
2022 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Stage 3 Provisional Classification
- Matthias Walkner (KTM) 3:24:13
- Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 3:25:14
- Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 3:26:43
2022 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 3]
- Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 11:23:47
- Matthias Walkner (KTM) 11:28:11
- Kevin Benavides (KTM) 11:28:15