marzo 31, 2019 - KTM

Sunderland fastest on stage one of 2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Comunicato Stampa disponibile solo in lingua originale. 

Press release available only in original language. 

The opening day of the 2019 #abudhabidesertchallenge saw riders cover a total of 370.86 kilometres as they left the famous Yas Marina Circuit in #abudhabi to head south, through the desert towards the bivouac at the Qasr Al Sarab resort. The strong winds and sandstorm that greeted riders at the start of the 261.97-kilometre timed special only added to the challenge of the stage. 

Feeling fit and motivated following his Dakar Rally podium success earlier in the year, Sam Sunderland unquestionably comes into the #abudhabidesertchallenge as one of the favourites. Despite being the 10th rider away from the start of the timed special, the Brit soon found himself at the front, leading the way through the dunes. First to reach the finish, Sam now tops the provisional standings by over six minutes from second-placed Andrew Short. 

Sam Sunderland: “I’m always a bit nervous to start a new championship, but myself and the team did some really good work in Morocco a few weeks ago and as such I felt really strong in the dunes here in #abudhabi. The conditions were really difficult today with the high winds and bad visibility. I pushed really hard right from the start and ended up opening from around kilometre 60. From there I just kept to a good pace and thankfully everything went well. Looking forward to tomorrow now.” 

Forced to miss the 2018 #event due to injury sustained in the Dakar Rally that year, Luciano Benavides put in an excellent performance on his first ever #abudhabidesertchallenge stage to finish as fourth fastest. Still learning and gaining experience wherever he can, the young Argentinian currently sits over five minutes ahead of the fifth-placed rider going into Monday’s stage two.

Further information in the press release to download