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SUNDERLAND CLAIMS VICTORY AT THE ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE

SUNDERLAND CLAIMS VICTORY AT THE ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE

Sam Sunderland secured overall victory after the final dramatic Abu Dhabi Aviation-sponsored stage of 219.76km at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge POWERED BY NISSAN on Thursday.

Starting eighth on the road was an obvious advantage and the Dubai-based rider’s strategy paid off handsomely. Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla bounced back from recent career setbacks to claim second place on his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna – 6min 13.7sec behind the winner – and Austrian Matthias Walkner won the battle with Paulo Gonçalves for third place. Sam Sunderland crosses the last stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge on his factory KTM 450 Rally.

Sam Sunderland “It feels cool, it’s been a long time coming,” said Sunderland. “This is my home race. I made a good start and it’s been the perfect race for me. It started well but it’s been really hard. I knew that I had to push hard this morning to make up the time quickly and that the first section was important. The team has been great, the bike’s been fantastic and it’s a great way to follow up the win in Dakar.”

1. Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM 450 Rally Factory
2hr 40min 20sec

2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) Husqvarna 450 Rally
2hr 46min 19sec

3. Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM 450 Rally Factory
2hr 49min 18sec

4. Paulo Gonçalves (PRT) Honda 450 CRF Rally
2hr 52min 46sec

5. Pierre Alexander Renet (FRA) Husqvarna 450 Rally
2hr 55min 16sec

6. Antoine Meo (FRA) KTM 450 Rally Factory
2hr 55min 52sec

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