Rally Atacama / Sunderland second in Atacama earning World Championship title

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

The British champion secures the two most prestigious titles in rally-raid.

Sam Sunderland (GBR) has sped his way to the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. The British biker kept up his incredible form at Rally Atacama to win the season-long rally-raid championship with a round to spare. Here’s all you need to know:

– Sunderland arrived in Chile having won the opening two rounds of this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.

– The wins at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Silk Way Rally marked him out as the man to beat.

– Local rider Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) managed to stop Sunderland’s winning run at Rally Atacama, second place for Sunderland was enough to secure this season’s World Championship.

– Sunderland is now the third member of the current Red Bull KTM Factory Team roster of riders to have won the two most prestigious titles in rally-raid.

– Sunderland, along with Toby Price (AUS) and Matthias Walkner (AUT), is a winner of both the Dakar Rally and the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.

– Price came to Rally Atacama after a long injury layoff due to a broken scaphoid bone in his wrist.

– Two-time Dakar winner Price was quick to show he had lost none of his speed as he won the prologue stage as well as the fourth desert stage. The Australian rider finished in fourth place overall.

– Walkner has also been recovering from injury for most of the season. Like his team-mate Price, the rally in Chile was his first since the Dakar and secured a Top 10 finish.

The riders of the Red Bull KTM Factory Team will be back in action at Rallye OiLibya du Maroc, which runs October 3–9.

Quotes:

Sam Sunderland – “In the back of my mind there was the thought that I had the chance to get the (FIM Cross-Country Rallies) World Championship already done here in Chile. To be honest, I tried not to think about it too much. But now it’s done, with a round to spare, I’m really happy. It’s great to see everybody’s hard work pay off. It’s such a big team effort.”

Toby Price – “It’s been a good comeback rally for me. It’s been high-speed throughout. I still need to do some more work on the wrist and a few other things that are not quite right yet. We’ll get that all looked at and try to be ready for Morocco to get some more good training there. We’re keeping our eyes on January and the Dakar.”

Matthias Walkner – “Considering this was a comeback rally for me, things went really well. I did the best I could, and I know what I need to improve.”

Rally Atacama Overall – Bikes

1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) Husqvarna 15:15:59
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR) KTM +03:56
3. Joan Barreda (ESP) Honda +08:21
4. Toby Price (AUS) KTM +11:24
7. Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM +27:11
10. Luciano Benavides (ARG) KTM +38:52

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