Dubai-based GASGAS Factory Racing star extends lead in FIM Rally-Raid World
Putting in an impressive display of riding to top the fifth and final stage of the 2022 Abu
Dhabi Desert Challenge, Sam Sunderland has won the event in style. The result makes it two
wins from two races for Sunderland in this year’s FIM Rally-Raid World Championship,
where he sits dominantly at the top of the standings.
“It feels so cool to get the win! Abu Dhabi is always a tough race with the strategy and that
was even more a factor this year as everyone was right on the pace,” said Sunderland. “If
you started a stage further back you didn’t seem to catch up so much time even though you
were pushing like hell, so it was definitely a challenge this year. It was a tough race
physically as well, partly because of the pace, but because of the heat too, as well as it being
so close to Dakar. It feels great to get another win and extend my lead in the championship.
It also feels good to be able to reward the team like this because they have all worked so
hard all week, and it’s results like this that makes it all worth it. The plan now is to keep the
ball rolling and carry this momentum into the third round.”
It was close finish with Sunderland going into the final 371km stage with a narrow 23-
second lead over the second-placed rider. The 2022 Dakar winner delivered what is
arguably his most impressive stage result of the event. By kilometer 83, Sunderland had
moved into the stage lead on time and from there he didn’t look back. Steadily increasing
his lead, he went on to secure the overall race win.
Clocking in at the finish of today’s stage 34 seconds faster than anyone else, Sam claimed
the overall race victory by over three minutes, after close to 17 hours of racing. The result
extends his lead at the top of the FIM Rally-Raid World Championship standings to a
sizeable 17 points, with three rounds left to race.
The next FIM Rally-Raid World Championship event will be the Andalucia Rally, starting on
2022 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Stage 5 Provisional Classification
- Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 2:20:57
- Ricky Brabec (Honda) 2:21:31
- Matthias Walkner (KTM) 2:22:08
2022 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 5]
- Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 16:54:24
- Ricky Brabec (Honda) 16:57:32
- Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 16:58:20
2022 FIM Rally-Raid World Championship Standings [After Round 2]
- Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 63 points
- Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 46 pts
- Matthias Walkner (KTM) 35 pts
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