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DANIEL SANDERS WINS 2023 SONORA RALLY
WITH A WINNING RIDE ON THE FINAL DAY OF COMPETITION CHUCKY STEERS HIS GASGAS RX 450F TO A THIRD STAGE WIN AND A FIRST EVER WORLD RALLY-RAID VICTORY!
Wrapping-up a super impressive week of racing in Mexico, Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racingís Daniel Sanders has claimed overall victory at the 2023 Sonora Rally, round three of the FIM Rally-Raid World Championship. Opting to sit out round two of the series Ė the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Ė Daniel hit the ground running in Mexico, completing a near perfect event in which he earned no fewer than three special stage victories!
Seven minutes ahead going into the final day of competition, and not having the pressure of being the first rider into the stage, the final day of competition at the Sonora Rally, thankfully, went exactly to plan for Sanders. Hitting the front by the kilometer 35 mark, Daniel kept on pushing to the finish, picking up the day win and with it a big, fat first ever world rally-raid victory! Despite missing round two of the rally-raid series, victory in Mexico lifts Daniel to fifth in the championship standings.
Danielís teammate Sam Sunderland, who crashed out of the event on day two, will head to the UK next week for checkups before, all being well, returning to training.
Daniel Sanders: ďItís great to get my first rally win. It feels like itís been a long time coming Ė obviously after a year off itís great to be back where I want to be. Dakarís the big one but getting wins in the world championship is also super important. Iíve had some bad luck with speed penalties and things like that in some events, so to finally get a world championship win means a lot to me. Also, I feel like Iíve ridden well this event, leading out on several days, and generally having a good run through the event. Yeah, after a year out and then getting sick at Dakar, itís all heading in the right direction. Iím improving still, and thanks to the team who always give me a great bike I feel like things are really coming together now.Ē
Norbert Stadlbauer Ė Rally Team Manager: ďNew race, new terrain, and a first world championship win for Daniel, which is a well-deserved result. Of course, it was hugely disappointing that Sam was unable to finish the event, but we know heíll be back strong. This really hasnít been an easy rally as the desert style terrain and the cactuses have been something new and different for more or less everyone. But Daniel has been really impressive Ė coming back to racing and winning, itís amazing how heís improved. Winning multiple stages, and winning when opening stages, he was really impressive, and became more and more confident during the event. A big congratulations to Daniel from everyone in the team.
Results Sonora Rally 2023 Ė stage 5 (provisional)
Provisional Standings Ė Sonora Rally 2023