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Sunderland podiums as Benavides wins Dakar

Briton Sam Sunderland fought to third place finish in the Dakar rally as Honda’s Kevin Benavides held on to his overnight lead to take the title. Sunderland started the day second, just over four minutes adrift of leader Benavides. But he could only finish 11th today after making a mistake that cost him ten minutes. It was good enough for third overall.

Benavides claimed the triumph after twelve gruelling stages. His Honda team-mate Ricky Brabec took the win on the final stage, to take second place in the event.

The 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally proved to be one of the toughest in its history. With organizers delivering a punishing route across the entire 12 days of competition, the event included a wide variety of terrain together with some of the most technically demanding navigation seen in recent years.

Red Bull KTM rider Sam Sunderland rode an intelligent race right from stage one. With the difficult navigation proving to be hugely challenge to all, especially to those leading the way at the front of each stage, riders encountered sizeable swings in time advantages depending on their start position.

Sunderland, using his vast experience, chose to maintain a solid but steady pace through the first half of the race, with the Brit lying sixth overall at the halfway point. Increasing his pace after the rest day, and taking the challenge to those ahead of him, the KTM 450 RALLY rider placed third overall by day seven and moved up to second on the penultimate stage.

In winning stage 11, Sam had the unenviable task of opening the 12th and final timed special. Trailing rally leader Kevin Benavides by five minutes going into the stage, the 2017 Dakar winner had no option but to push as hard as he dared during the final 200km as he raced against the clock. Unfortunately, a small error that resulted in him losing almost 10 minutes ended Sunderland’s charge for the win. Despite the set-back, Sam safely arrived at the finish to claim an impressive third place overall. Although disappointed not to have secured a second career win for himself and KTM, the Brit was happy with how his race had gone.

Sam Sunderland:“I did my best over the whole rally, so I can’t be too disappointed, I guess. It was always going to be hard setting off first this morning and I knew I had to push hard to make up those minutes. I couldn’t find one waypoint early on in the dunes and lost far too much time trying to find it. There is always a fine balance and when you push your speed, the navigation can lose out. I’m super happy as I know I gave it my all. The other guys did a great job and after what was such a tough event with several crashes and people being forced to retire with technical issues, I’m glad to be here safe at the finish line and in third place. I honestly think that has been one of the toughest races I have ever done – the pace at the top is so high, we’re having to fight every single day and there is no time to relax. Congratulations to all those who finished and get well soon to those who crashed out.”

David Knight took 20th for 24th overall and Neil Hawker 46th on the final day for 37th overall.

Provisional results of final day:

11(USA) RICKY BRABECMONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 202102H 17′ 02”
247(ARG) KEVIN BENAVIDESMONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 202102H 19′ 19”+ 00H 02′ 17”
352(AUT) MATTHIAS WALKNERRED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM02H 21′ 15”+ 00H 04′ 13”
49(USA) SKYLER HOWESBAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM02H 22′ 51”+ 00H 05′ 49”
521(AUS) DANIEL SANDERSKTM FACTORY TEAM02H 24′ 13”+ 00H 07′ 11”
615(ESP) LORENZO SANTOLINOSHERCO FACTORY02H 27′ 33”+ 00H 10′ 31”
717(ESP) JOAN PEDRERO GARCIAFN SPEED – RIEJU TEAM02H 27′ 42”+ 00H 10′ 40”
827(PRT) JOAQUIM RODRIGUESHERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY02H 29′ 20”+ 00H 12′ 18”
974(ESP) JAUME BETRIUFN SPEED – KTM TEAM02H 29′ 37”+ 00H 12′ 35”
1024(DEU) SEBASTIAN BÜHLERHERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY02H 30′ 08”+ 00H 13′ 06”
115(GBR) SAM SUNDERLANDRED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM02H 30′ 09”+ 00H 13′ 07”
1287(ESP) ORIOL MENAFN SPEED – RIEJU TEAM02H 32′ 36”+ 00H 15′ 34”
1319(PRT) RUI GONCALVESSHERCO FACTORY02H 33′ 13”+ 00H 16′ 11”00H 03′ 00”
1432(ESP) TOSHA SCHAREINAFN SPEED – KTM TEAM02H 33′ 46”+ 00H 16′ 44”
1511(SVK) STEFAN SVITKOSLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM02H 34′ 57”+ 00H 17′ 55”
1626(CZE) MILAN ENGELORION – MOTO RACING GROUP02H 37′ 56”+ 00H 20′ 54”
1744(ESP) LAIA SANZGAS GAS FACTORY TEAM02H 40′ 27”+ 00H 23′ 25”
1895(FRA) XAVIER FLICKXTREM RACING02H 42′ 09”+ 00H 25′ 07”
1933(IND) HARITH NOAH KOITHA VEETTILSHERCO FACTORY02H 43′ 20”+ 00H 26′ 18”
20101(GBR) DAVID KNIGHTHT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING02H 44′ 33”+ 00H 27′ 31”
212(CHL) PABLO QUINTANILLAROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING02H 44′ 50”+ 00H 27′ 48”00H 10′ 00”
2229 (ROU) EMANUEL GYENESAUTONET MOTORCYCLE TEAM02H 45′ 35”+ 00H 28′ 33”
2331(CZE) MARTIN MICHEKORION – MOTO RACING GROUP02H 46′ 07”+ 00H 29′ 05”00H 20′ 00”
2454(FRA) CAMILLE CHAPELIERETEAM BAINES RALLY02H 47′ 19”+ 00H 30′ 17”
2536(CZE) JAN BRABECSTROJRENT RACING02H 48′ 59”+ 00H 31′ 57”00H 16′ 00”
2625(NLD) PAUL SPIERINGSHT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING02H 49′ 51”+ 00H 32′ 49”
2763(POL) KONRAD DABROWSKIDUUST RALLY TEAM02H 52′ 08”+ 00H 35′ 06”
2839(FRA) BENJAMIN MELOTBENJAMIN MELOT02H 53′ 10”+ 00H 36′ 08”00H 10′ 00”
2930(LTU) ARUNAS GELAZNINKASZIGMAS DAKAR TEAM02H 53′ 12”+ 00H 36′ 10”
3080(AUS) MICHAEL BURGESSBAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM02H 53′ 25”+ 00H 36′ 23”
3148(FRA) MATHIEU DOVEZENOMADE RACING ASSISTANCE02H 53′ 49”+ 00H 36′ 47”
3237 (CZE) DAVID PABISKAJANTAR TEAM03H 03′ 57”+ 00H 46′ 55”
3386(FRA) CHARLIE HERBSTDRAG’ON RALLY TEAM03H 05′ 34”+ 00H 48′ 32”
3478(ITA) CESARE ZACCHETTICESARE ZACCHETTI03H 07′ 19”+ 00H 50′ 17”
3546(SVN) SIMON MARCICMARCIC03H 11′ 47”+ 00H 54′ 45”
3670(SAU) MISHAL ALGHUNEIMMISHAL ALGHUNEIM03H 15′ 06”+ 00H 58′ 04”
3781 (SVK) ERIK VLCAKSLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM03H 15′ 40”+ 00H 58′ 38”
38108(ESP) MARC CALMETFN SPEED – RIEJU TEAM03H 15′ 45”+ 00H 58′ 43”
3965(ITA) FRANCO PICCOTEAM FRANCO PICCO03H 16′ 17”+ 00H 59′ 15”
4041(CHN) ZAKER YAKPWU PU DA HAI DAO DAKAR RALLY TEAM03H 17′ 51”+ 01H 00′ 49”
4160(FRA) STÉPHANE DARQUESM.O.R.AL03H 22′ 29”+ 01H 05′ 27”
4235(MEX) JUAN PABLO GUILLEN RIVERANOMADAS ADVENTURE03H 25′ 41”+ 01H 08′ 39”
43125(FRA) FRÉDÉRIC BARLERINRALLYE FRED03H 25′ 49”+ 01H 08′ 47”
4479 (FRA) AMAURY BARATINHORIZON MOTO 9503H 29′ 27”+ 01H 12′ 25”
4562(AUS) ANDREW JOSEPH HOULIHANNOMADAS ADVENTURE03H 30′ 12”+ 01H 13′ 10”
4684(GBR) NEIL HAWKERNEIL HAWKER03H 31′ 22”+ 01H 14′ 20”00H 20′ 00”
4755(CHN) ZHAO HONGYIWU PU DA HAI DAO DAKAR RALLY TEAM03H 31′ 27”+ 01H 14′ 25”
4853(CZE) LIBOR PODMOLPODMOL DAKAR TEAM03H 35′ 09”+ 01H 18′ 07”
4967(CZE) RUDOLF LHOTSKYJANTAR TEAM03H 37′ 13”+ 01H 20′ 11”00H 20′ 00”
50121(FRA) GUILLAUME BARTHELEMYTEAM RS CONCEPT03H 45′ 05”+ 01H 28′ 03”
5198(ESP) SARA GARCIAPONT GRUP YAMAHA03H 46′ 58”+ 01H 29′ 56”00H 04′ 00”
5271(BHR) SALMAN MOHAMED HUMOOD FARHANHT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING03H 49′ 50”+ 01H 32′ 48”00H 20′ 00”
5389 (SRB) GABOR SAGHMEISTERSAGHMEISTER TEAM03H 59′ 14”+ 01H 42′ 12”
5458(ESP) EDUARDO IGLESIAS SANCHEZFN SPEED – TEAM MONFORTE RALLY04H 07′ 34”+ 01H 50′ 32”
55100(FRA) AUDREY ROSSATTEAM RS CONCEPT04H 08′ 04”+ 01H 51′ 02”
5651(ESP) RACHID AL-LAL LAHADILMELILLA SPORT CAPITAL04H 08′ 33”+ 01H 51′ 31”
5769(BEL) WALTER ROELANTSHT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING04H 12′ 25”+ 01H 55′ 23”00H 02′ 00”
5882 (IND) ASHISH RAORANEASHISH RAORANE04H 15′ 36”+ 01H 58′ 34”00H 15′ 00”
59115(NLD) OLAF HARMSENBAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM04H 24′ 36”+ 02H 07′ 34”00H 20′ 00”
60114 (ESP) ELADIO CARBONELL MENDEZPIKAERAS TEAM04H 25′ 08”+ 02H 08′ 06”
61112 (ESP) JUAN CAMPDERAJUAN CAMPDERA04H 28′ 54”+ 02H 11′ 52”
6296(ESP) DANIEL ALBERO PUIGTEAM UN DIABETICO EN EL DAKAR04H 54′ 00”+ 02H 36′ 58”00H 20′ 00”
6376(CZE) ROMAN KREJCIBO!BETON TEAM04H 55′ 15”+ 02H 38′ 13”00H 15′ 00”
6499(ESP) JAVI VEGA PUERTAPONT GRUP YAMAHA05H 12′ 39”+ 02H 55′ 37”
65105(ESP) FERNANDO DOMINGUEZCLUB AVENTURA TOUAREG05H 25′ 10”+ 03H 08′ 08”00H 20′ 00”
66117 (BWA) JAMES ALEXANDERTHE KALAHARI MADALA05H 26′ 06”+ 03H 09′ 04”00H 20′ 00”
6785(PRT) ALEXANDRE AZINHAISCLUB AVENTURA TOUAREG05H 38′ 40”+ 03H 21′ 38”00H 35′ 00”

Provisional overall leaderboard

147(ARG) KEVIN BENAVIDESMONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 202147H 18′ 14”00H 02′ 00”
21(USA) RICKY BRABECMONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 202147H 23′ 10”+ 00H 04′ 56”
35(GBR) SAM SUNDERLANDRED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM47H 34′ 11”+ 00H 15′ 57”
421(AUS) DANIEL SANDERSKTM FACTORY TEAM47H 57′ 06”+ 00H 38′ 52”00H 07′ 00”
59(USA) SKYLER HOWESBAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM48H 10′ 47”+ 00H 52′ 33”00H 06′ 00”
615(ESP) LORENZO SANTOLINOSHERCO FACTORY48H 16′ 44”+ 00H 58′ 30”
72(CHL) PABLO QUINTANILLAROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING48H 44′ 53”+ 01H 26′ 39”00H 10′ 00”
811(SVK) STEFAN SVITKOSLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM49H 01′ 21”+ 01H 43′ 07”
952(AUT) MATTHIAS WALKNERRED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM49H 50′ 26”+ 02H 32′ 12”00H 02′ 00”
1031(CZE) MARTIN MICHEKORION – MOTO RACING GROUP50H 00′ 51”+ 02H 42′ 37”00H 23′ 00”
1127(PRT) JOAQUIM RODRIGUESHERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY50H 22′ 38”+ 03H 04′ 24”00H 37′ 00”
1274(ESP) JAUME BETRIUFN SPEED – KTM TEAM50H 35′ 30”+ 03H 17′ 16”00H 06′ 00”
1332(ESP) TOSHA SCHAREINAFN SPEED – KTM TEAM50H 59′ 49”+ 03H 41′ 35”
1424(DEU) SEBASTIAN BÜHLERHERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY51H 18′ 17”+ 04H 00′ 03”00H 18′ 00”
1517(ESP) JOAN PEDRERO GARCIAFN SPEED – RIEJU TEAM51H 25′ 42”+ 04H 07′ 28”
1687(ESP) ORIOL MENAFN SPEED – RIEJU TEAM51H 37′ 38”+ 04H 19′ 24”
1744(ESP) LAIA SANZGAS GAS FACTORY TEAM53H 47′ 45”+ 06H 29′ 31”00H 12′ 00”
1826(CZE) MILAN ENGELORION – MOTO RACING GROUP53H 48′ 43”+ 06H 30′ 29”00H 21′ 00”
1919(PRT) RUI GONCALVESSHERCO FACTORY53H 53′ 35”+ 06H 35′ 21”00H 18′ 00”
2033(IND) HARITH NOAH KOITHA VEETTILSHERCO FACTORY54H 58′ 05”+ 07H 39′ 51”00H 02′ 00”
2130(LTU) ARUNAS GELAZNINKASZIGMAS DAKAR TEAM55H 04′ 23”+ 07H 46′ 09”
2254(FRA) CAMILLE CHAPELIERETEAM BAINES RALLY55H 38′ 18”+ 08H 20′ 04”01H 23′ 00”
2329 (ROU) EMANUEL GYENESAUTONET MOTORCYCLE TEAM56H 06′ 28”+ 08H 48′ 14”00H 02′ 00”
24101(GBR) DAVID KNIGHTHT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING56H 11′ 25”+ 08H 53′ 11”00H 29′ 00”
2539(FRA) BENJAMIN MELOTBENJAMIN MELOT56H 45′ 10”+ 09H 26′ 56”00H 11′ 00”
2625(NLD) PAUL SPIERINGSHT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING57H 00′ 31”+ 09H 42′ 17”
2780(AUS) MICHAEL BURGESSBAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM58H 11′ 44”+ 10H 53′ 30”00H 59′ 00”
2863(POL) KONRAD DABROWSKIDUUST RALLY TEAM58H 24′ 36”+ 11H 06′ 22”
2948(FRA) MATHIEU DOVEZENOMADE RACING ASSISTANCE59H 07′ 25”+ 11H 49′ 11”00H 05′ 00”
3037 (CZE) DAVID PABISKAJANTAR TEAM59H 12′ 13”+ 11H 53′ 59”00H 01′ 00”
3153(CZE) LIBOR PODMOLPODMOL DAKAR TEAM59H 22′ 58”+ 12H 04′ 44”00H 15′ 00”
3295(FRA) XAVIER FLICKXTREM RACING59H 25′ 33”+ 12H 07′ 19”
3341(CHN) ZAKER YAKPWU PU DA HAI DAO DAKAR RALLY TEAM61H 15′ 15”+ 13H 57′ 01”00H 42′ 00”
34108(ESP) MARC CALMETFN SPEED – RIEJU TEAM63H 51′ 11”+ 16H 32′ 57”00H 02′ 00”
3586(FRA) CHARLIE HERBSTDRAG’ON RALLY TEAM64H 50′ 17”+ 17H 32′ 03”00H 23′ 00”
3646(SVN) SIMON MARCICMARCIC65H 09′ 28”+ 17H 51′ 14”00H 45′ 00”
3784(GBR) NEIL HAWKERNEIL HAWKER65H 53′ 00”+ 18H 34′ 46”00H 29′ 00”
3878(ITA) CESARE ZACCHETTICESARE ZACCHETTI67H 08′ 39”+ 19H 50′ 25”00H 32′ 00”
3981 (SVK) ERIK VLCAKSLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM67H 27′ 33”+ 20H 09′ 19”00H 27′ 00”
4060(FRA) STÉPHANE DARQUESM.O.R.AL68H 10′ 37”+ 20H 52′ 23”00H 53′ 30”
4167(CZE) RUDOLF LHOTSKYJANTAR TEAM68H 28′ 22”+ 21H 10′ 08”01H 16′ 00”
4270(SAU) MISHAL ALGHUNEIMMISHAL ALGHUNEIM68H 57′ 46”+ 21H 39′ 32”00H 22′ 00”
4365(ITA) FRANCO PICCOTEAM FRANCO PICCO69H 02′ 14”+ 21H 44′ 00”00H 40′ 00”
4498(ESP) SARA GARCIAPONT GRUP YAMAHA69H 40′ 37”+ 22H 22′ 23”00H 44′ 00”
4555(CHN) ZHAO HONGYIWU PU DA HAI DAO DAKAR RALLY TEAM69H 54′ 26”+ 22H 36′ 12”00H 02′ 00”
4679 (FRA) AMAURY BARATINHORIZON MOTO 9571H 04′ 12”+ 23H 45′ 58”00H 06′ 00”
4799(ESP) JAVI VEGA PUERTAPONT GRUP YAMAHA71H 05′ 46”+ 23H 47′ 32”00H 20′ 00”
4835(MEX) JUAN PABLO GUILLEN RIVERANOMADAS ADVENTURE71H 28′ 00”+ 24H 09′ 46”01H 02′ 00”
49121(FRA) GUILLAUME BARTHELEMYTEAM RS CONCEPT72H 02′ 40”+ 24H 44′ 26”00H 05′ 00”
5062(AUS) ANDREW JOSEPH HOULIHANNOMADAS ADVENTURE73H 11′ 20”+ 25H 53′ 06”01H 27′ 00”
51125(FRA) FRÉDÉRIC BARLERINRALLYE FRED74H 51′ 01”+ 27H 32′ 47”00H 00′ 30”
5269(BEL) WALTER ROELANTSHT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING75H 18′ 56”+ 28H 00′ 42”00H 31′ 00”
5358(ESP) EDUARDO IGLESIAS SANCHEZFN SPEED – TEAM MONFORTE RALLY76H 51′ 14”+ 29H 33′ 00”00H 01′ 00”
54114 (ESP) ELADIO CARBONELL MENDEZPIKAERAS TEAM76H 57′ 27”+ 29H 39′ 13”00H 30′ 00”
5551(ESP) RACHID AL-LAL LAHADILMELILLA SPORT CAPITAL77H 24′ 13”+ 30H 05′ 59”00H 07′ 30”
56105(ESP) FERNANDO DOMINGUEZCLUB AVENTURA TOUAREG80H 28′ 44”+ 33H 10′ 30”00H 45′ 00”
57115(NLD) OLAF HARMSENBAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM80H 54′ 54”+ 33H 36′ 40”01H 02′ 00”
5871(BHR) SALMAN MOHAMED HUMOOD FARHANHT RALLY RAID HUSQVARNA RACING81H 09′ 20”+ 33H 51′ 06”01H 53′ 00”
59100(FRA) AUDREY ROSSATTEAM RS CONCEPT82H 26′ 13”+ 35H 07′ 59”00H 21′ 00”
6089 (SRB) GABOR SAGHMEISTERSAGHMEISTER TEAM82H 50′ 34”+ 35H 32′ 20”00H 41′ 00”
61112 (ESP) JUAN CAMPDERAJUAN CAMPDERA86H 04′ 43”+ 38H 46′ 29”00H 01′ 00”
6296(ESP) DANIEL ALBERO PUIGTEAM UN DIABETICO EN EL DAKAR92H 19′ 03”+ 45H 00′ 49”04H 38′ 00”
63117 (BWA) JAMES ALEXANDERTHE KALAHARI MADALA113H 51′ 15”+ 66H 33′ 01”07H 00′ 00”

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