British rally ace, Sam Sunderland, has been announced as the latest rider in the GasGas Factory Racing Team for the 2022 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.
Sunderland, who has spent the better part of his career riding in Red Bull KTM colours, joins Australian up-and-comer Daniel Sanders in the GasGas squad with their debut as a team set to be the 2022 Dakar Rally in January.
"It’s super exciting for me to be joining the GASGAS Factory Racing team, Sunderland says. 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.”
The addition of Sunderland to the GasGas roster adds extra clout ahead of the 44th edition of the Dakar Rally, with teammate Sanders taking the third spot in the 2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship following his 4th placing at his rally debut at the 2021 Dakar.
GasGas's motorsport director, Pit Beirer, agrees that the duo racing together will take the GasGas team to the next level.
“It’s a huge moment for GASGAS to have both Sam and Daniel on the Rally team, he says.
"What started off as a small project with Laia, 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.”
Both riders are now busy preparing themselves ahead of the 44th edition of the Dakar Rally, which kicks off on January 1, 2022. They’ll then take a short break before gearing up once again for the opening round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, which is scheduled to start sometime in the Northern Hemisphere's spring.