Sam Sunderland is back in business having claimed victory at the Sealine Cross Country Rallies World Championship in Qatar.
Securing the top step of the podium at the second round of the 2016 world series, the KTM rider has firmly put his broken femur, which saw him miss the Dakar Rally, behind him.
Ending the opening round of the championship in Abu Dhabi second overall, Sunderland went one place better in the week long race to earn a much deserved win over Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla.
“This victory feels good”, said Sam Sunderland, “I worked hard these past six months to get fit again after I broke my leg. I wasn’t able to take part in the Dakar and it was tough for me watching the race on TV, both mentally and physically, as I was in rehab.
“So I am really pleased with this win after battling all week with Pablo. It wasn’t easy. I knew he would catch me but after that I was able to relax and ride with him to the finish.”
Finishing over nine minutes behind, Quintanilla ended his rally in second with Yamaha’s Helder Rodrigues third.
Juan Carlo Salvatierra was fourth while Pela Renet continues his rally development with fifth overall.
The championship continues in Sardinia from June 4-7.
Sealine Cross Country Qatar Rally
1. Sam Sunderland/GBR/Red Bull KTM/19:14:07
2. Pablo Quintanilla/CHI/Rockstar Husqvarna/+9:38
3. Helder Rodrigues/POR/Yamaha Factory/+30:46
4. Juan Carlos Salvatierra/BOL/KTM/+54:22
5. Pierre Renet/FRA/Rockstar Husqvarna/+1:00:27
1. Sam Sunderland/GBR/Red Bull KTM/52 pts
2. Pablo Quintanilla/CHI/Rockstar Husqvarna/46 pts
3. Toby Price/AUS/Red Bull KTM/33 pts
4. Pierre Renet/FRA/Rockstar Husqvarna/33 pts