As we reach the well-earned rest day of Dakar 2018, it can certainly be said that this year’s route so far has been one of the toughest. From the start in Lima, Peru to today’s rest day in La Paz, Bolivia, the competitors have passed through days of desert and will now head into the mountains, racing at an altitude of over 2,500 meters.
Tag: Sam Sunderland
KTM has enjoyed no fewer than 16 consecutive Rally Dakar victories. Even since 2011, when rules changed and engine sizes were reduced to a maximum of 450cc in an effort to bring other manufacturers into the event, KTM have won every single race. With an all-new bike for 2018, KTM once again take to the start well-prepared, well-motivated and hoping to take win number 17 …
Winner of the 2017 Rally Dakar, Sam Sunderland has had a mixed season in this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. A title contender right up to the final round in Morocco, Sunderland endured a series of minor injuries and bad luck that eventually ruled him out of the running. Despite this, his pace throughout the year has been hugely impressive, with wins at the opening two rounds in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Sam heads into the 2018 Dakar as the man to beat.
With 16 consecutive wins at the notoriously tough Rally Dakar the KTM Factory Racing Team is gearing up for another tough battle in January with the sole aim of continuing this unbelievable success-streak.
He’s achieved the goal of a lifetime, but it’s back to work for Sam Sunderland, only this time he will begin the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship as a Dakar winner.
Sam Sunderland talks to the KTM BLOG about finishing the Dakar Rally for the first time, and taking an incredible victory, KTM’s 16th consecutive win, at the notoriously tough event.
KTM had been unbeaten since 2001 when more than 140 riders lined up for the start of the 39th edition of the Dakar Rally in Asunción on January 2, 2017. Orange was once again the predominant color at the start line – over half of the competitors had opted for the machine that so often wins this event, the KTM 450 RALLY.
Joining the Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing Team prior to the 2015 Dakar Rally, the 27-year-old Brit has experienced lots of ups and downs in his quest to establish himself among the international elite of rally racers. From winning individual Dakar stages and topping the podium in multi-stage events to being forced to miss the 2016 Dakar due to injury, Sam has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during the past few years.