Rally-Raid - Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge - Round 2
He’s done it! 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 awesome result makes it two wins from two races for Sam in this year’s FIM Rally-Raid World Championship, where he sits dominantly at the top of the standings.
Victory extends Sunderland’s world championship points lead to 63 ahead of Pablo Quintanilla on 46 who finished third overall.
Sam Sunderland: “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. 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.”
Pablo Quintanilla: “We have finished the rally and I am very happy to be on the podium. Today was a difficult last stage for me. I tried to push as hard as I could and towards the middle of the special I caught the riders in front, so I had to open the track until the end. I lost a few minutes at the finish, but that was to be expected. I'm very happy with the result. It was a tough race, with little time to rest and prepare for the race after the Dakar, so now we are back on our schedule. I wish to thank the team for the great work done during all this week and now we can go back home to prepare for the next challenge”.
2022 Rally-Raid | round #02 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
P01 | Sam Sunderland (GasGas)
P03 | Pablo Quintanilla (Honda)
P12 | Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco)
P15 | Paolo Lucci (Husqvarna)
credits: GasGas press center; Honda Racing Corporation; Sherco Racing