Results: Sam Sunderland wins 2022 Dakar Rally
Final results from the 2022 Dakar Rally where Sam Sunderland has sealed victory, his second and GASGAS’s first, after Pablo Quintanilla pulls out the stops with a final stage 12 win for Honda – including full RallyGP and Rally2 classification sheets.
Dakar Stage 12 in a nutshell:
- Starting 12 minutes behind the Sunderland on today’s final special, Pablo Quintanilla made a blistering start tracking his teammate Ricky Brabec on the ground – the Honda pair were quickly topping the timesheets early.
- Second out the blocks, Sam Sunderland had Kevin Benavides’ dust trail to tag onto and the 167 kilometre stage unfolded with Quintanilla progressively gaining time overall – 1:20 at the first waypoint, then another minute by the second and it was clear the Chilean was going all out for his first Dakar trophy.
- But Sunderland had the measure of the final navigation notes, which were still not easy on this last stage, and went on to bring his GASGAS home 3:25 behind Quintanilla (3:27 ahead on the general classification) for his second Dakar title.
- “This last stage was so difficult and so much stress…” said Sam at the finish. “A lot of navigation, a lot of tricky notes, a few times a bit confusing and [I was] not sure I was going the right way. Honestly, my head can explode. The last 10 minutes, I was not sure whether I’d won, wow, it’s a dream come true…I had a pretty rough season, but when you win the Dakar, it's all worth it.”
- This is the first Dakar trophy for GASGAS and will return the title to Austria and the KTM Group, breaking Honda’s two-year winning run.
- Pablo seals second overall for Honda with the stage win ahead of Toby Price and Jose Cornejo completing the final day top three. (Ricky Brabec was initially second today but was docked a 12 minutes time penalty.)
- Mason Klein nailed the final stage to cement ninth position overall behind Andrew Short but ahead of Toby Price. That seals the Rally 2, Rookie and Junior trophies for the 20-year-old American.
- Matthias Walkner will be third overall for KTM after finishing fifth today with Yamaha’s lead rider Adrien Van Beveren fourth overall after his podium challenge faltered on stage 11.
- Finishing in 63rd place today, Mirjam Pol takes the Women’s class victory ahead of Sandra Gomez and Sara Garcia third.
* results will update
2022 Dakar Rally Stage 12 results:
Say what? Top 3 rider quotes from the stage finish:
Sam Sunderland, GASGAS Factory Racing, 1st position: “I honestly can’t be happier. This last stage was so difficult and so much stress… A lot of navigation, a lot of tricky notes, a few times a bit confusing and not sure I was going the right way. Phew.
“Honestly, my head can explode. The last ten minutes, I was not sure whether I’d won, now they’ve told me and, wow, dream come true. Even to listen to you say it brings a little bit of emotion there. I had a pretty rough season, but when you win the Dakar, it’s all worth it. So nice.”
Pablo Quintanilla, Monster Energy Honda Rally Team, 2nd position: “I’m over the moon with this result. It was a really, really tough race. I did my best.
“This is a good result for me as part of a different team. We fought hard from day one. It was physically and mentally exhausting. But I’m really pleased with my performance in the race.
“I want to thank my team for their incredible work over two weeks. It was hard for everyone, with plenty of stress trying to implement a strategy. In the end, I’m thrilled.
“I also want to thank all my supporters, especially the Chileans who write to me all the time. I think this was my most stressful Dakar yet.
“The second week was all about strategy, and it’s difficult to implement the right one. But that’s racing for you, what really matters is giving it your all. You win some, you lose some.”
Matthias Walkner, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 3rd position: “If you’d said to me before the rally I could finish in the top three, I would have said, ‘where do I have to sign?’. So many things can happen on the road. We spend so many hours on our bikes. We saw Kevin Benavides run into trouble and Daniel Sanders crash. Danger lurks around every corner.
“There are always up and downs, so all in all, I’m really happy it all went so well, despite the stress. We came in first and third on our new bike, which is really great. I’m going to enjoy this podium spot, which almost feels like a victory. I gave it my all for 12 stages.”
Provisional final classification, RallyGP class & Rally 2:
Photo Credit: A.S.O. + Flavien Duhamel Marcelo Maragni | Red Bull + MCH Photo CZ