In rally racing, anything can, and often does, happen. And today was one of those days for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Daniel Sanders. Faced with the arduous task of helping to lead out on stage nine after his runner-up finish on stage eight, Chucky frustratingly lost a substantial amount of time in a rocky plateau early on in the 358km special and would ultimately go on to finish in 20th place. Despite the challenging day in the saddle, importantly, Daniel is over the sickness bug which derailed his week-one charge and is now fighting fit and ready to attack, starting with tomorrow’s stage 10.
Daniel Sanders: “Today was always going to be tough leading out and early on I quickly caught up with the leading riders. There was a note in the roadbook to head up into a rocky plateau but once up there it was really hard to find the way. I reckon I lost around 15 minutes or so there, but that’s how rally goes sometimes. It’s a little frustrating but all I can do is keep moving forward and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Eager to kick off week two with another solid stage result, Daniel maintained a blistering pace through the early part of the ninth special in his bid to lose the least amount of time as possible to his rivals, who all benefitted from following the tire tracks left in the sand by his awesome RX 450F. But as is sometimes the way in rally, navigating through unridden, rocky terrain with minimal roadbook instructions can be seriously tough. Nevertheless, despite knowing he was losing time, Sanders remained cool, eventually finding the right way. After that it was full gas to the finish line!
Results (provisional): Dakar Rally 2023, stage 9
1. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 3:18:44
2. Toby Price (KTM) 3:19:46
3. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 3:21:41
20. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 3:38:25
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 9)
1. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 33:55:57
2. Toby Price (KTM) 33:56:00
3. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 34:01:06
9. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 34:19:44
- From GasGas Factory Racing