Dakar champion joins Sanders in GasGas team

Sam Sunderland (left) and Daniel Sanders (right)

Daniel Sanders will be joined by 2017 Dakar champion Sam Sunderland in GasGas Factory Racing’s 2022 campaign.

Sunderland, like Sanders, has moved from KTM Factory Racing to ride for one of its sister teams next year.

In fact, the new GasGas duo is comprised of KTM’s top two finishers in this year’s Dakar Rally, when the Briton took third overall and Australian Sanders fourth on his debut.

Pit Beirer, GasGas motorsport director, said, “It’s a huge moment for GasGas to have both Sam and Daniel on the Rally team.

“What started off as a small project with Laia [Sanz], and then with Daniel, has now become a much bigger effort.

“Signing a former Dakar winner in Sam, and having quite possibly the best young talent in rally at the moment in Daniel, really shows a clear statement that the brand is ready to compete for victories and grow its presence further in rally.

“It’s really exciting for GasGas to have two great riders that are both capable of winning in 2022 and I wish them both the best of luck for the Dakar Rally and 2022 season.”

Norbert Stadlbauer, GasGas Rally Team manager, added, “It’s great to have two very talented riders racing for GasGas next season.

“They are at different stages of their careers, yet they both have the talent to win.

“Sam is very experienced, and his career achievements speak for themselves. He knows everything there is to know about rally and this will help him to succeed in 2022.

“Daniel only has one full season of rally racing under his belt, but he has picked things up really quickly. He doesn’t have the experience that Sam has but he’s a very quick learner as we have seen in 2021.

“They’re both fast, motivated, and capable, so we fully expect to see them battling for success at the Dakar and then in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship next year.”

Sanders, also the FIM world champion in 2019, said, “It’s super exciting for me to be joining the GasGas Factory Racing team.

“It’s a relatively new team but with strong foundations and a lot of expertise behind the program.

“For sure it’s a new challenge and a new opportunity for me and it gives me a lot of confidence being within similar surroundings, so I can focus on the job at hand.

“So far, everything has been really positive. I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent some time on the bike recently and I can’t wait to start racing.

“My goal is to win the Dakar again and claim the first win for GasGas too, so I’m really motivated and excited for the future.

“It’s cool to be racing in new colours and I’m looking forward to coming out swinging at the Dakar on the red bike.”

Sanders made a slightly earlier switch from KTM to GasGas, just after his first Dakar Rally, and would go on to finish third in his rookie FIM world championship season.

“Being able to be one of the faces of GasGas for another year, especially alongside Sam, is really cool,” he said.

“I’ve just finished up my first full season of racing rally and I’m certainly looking forward to another.

“It’s not all that long until the Dakar starts and with the world championship coming up pretty soon after that, it’s going to be another busy year.

“I’ve learned so much in 2021 and I’m excited for the future, the opportunity that I have, and I can’t wait to get started again.”

Sanders and Sunderland will begin their 2022 Dakar campaign, onboard RC 450F bikes, with the Prologue in Ha’il on New Year’s Day.

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