Sanders makes strong start in Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
Tuesday 9th November, 2021 - 9:23am
Australian Daniel Sanders has consolidated third position overall after the first two stages of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
The GasGas factory rider is 3:42s off the event lead after setting the third-fastest time on Stage 2, the longest of five in what is the final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
However, it was not a straightforward 333km special for Sanders, who crashed multiple times.
“Day 2 went OK for me, but not as well as I’d hoped,” he said.
“I found it hard to get into a good rhythm early on – I had a couple more scary calls with some drops as I’m still learning how to read the terrain here in the desert.
“I had a couple of crashes too – one gave me quite a knock and I ended up in a hole in the dunes. I had to dig the bike out a little and that cost me some time.
“I got to the refuel and managed to get some food and water into me, recharged and felt a lot better after that. For the second half of the stage, I felt a lot better and managed to find a good pace.
“The terrain suited me better too, with more tracks and plateaus. I finished third-fastest today, which puts me in a good spot for tomorrow.”
The 27-year-old was second-fastest in the Prologue and fourth-fastest in Stage 1.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s sole representative, Matthias Walkner, has moved into the event lead after finishing second on Stage 2 to Monster Energy Yamaha’s Adrien Van Beveren, who now holds second overall.
In Cars, Toyota’s Nasser Al-Attiyah is more than six minutes to the good after winning both stages so far, with Orlen’s Jakub Przygonski second in both in a John Cooper Works buggy.