It’s safe to say that the Rallye du Maroc has flown by. And now that the dust has finally settled, Daniel Sanders has secured third overall for his, and GASGAS’, first ever podium result in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship! Even with a minor setback on day three, the Aussie turned things around on the final two stages, upping his pace and rapidly closing in on the leader to complete the rally just over five minutes short of the win.
Daniel Sanders: “The last day is done and what a week it’s been! Opening the final stage was pretty cool. After around 80 kilometers the navigation became a bit more tricky so I had to slow my pace to make sure I was on the right path. I actually had a small crash in the dunes but I was up quick and straight back on a decent rhythm. I’m really happy to have finished third on this stage after opening and overall it’s been a great week. To end it with a podium and secure the first podium result for GASGAS in the world championship is really cool. Now I’m looking forward to the next race in Abu Dhabi.”
Clearly a quick learner after a challenging third stage at the 2021 Rallye du Maroc, Daniel Sanders hit the reset button and came out swinging during the final two days of racing. By rocketing to an impressive win on the penultimate stage, the 27-year-old was then faced with opening the final special of the event.
Entering the stage knowing that a strong result would ensure his place on the overall podium, Sanders was up for the challenge of leading out and didn’t hold back through the rolling sand dunes that formed much of the final stage of the rally. Charging hard throughout, the Aussie completed the special just 18 seconds short of the win to bring his rally to a highly positive end.
With his confidence now soaring and with another round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship successfully completed, Sanders will now take all the learnings from his productive week in Morocco to the final round of the series, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which begins on November 6.
Results (provisional): Rallye du Maroc 2021, stage 5
1. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 1:39:12
2. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 1:39:29
3. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 1:39:30
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 5)
1. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 16:26:51
2. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 16:28:50
3. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 16:32:18