After an encouraging start to the 2023 Desafio Ruta 40, Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland has withdrawn from the event on stage three. After picking up an energy-sapping sickness bug overnight, the Brit entered today’s 268-kilometer special focused on completing the stage but at the halfway point, he made the tough decision to call time on his participation. Feel better soon, Sam.

  • Sam Sunderland withdraws from Desafio Ruta 40
  • GASGAS rally ace focused on returning to full fitness
  • Sunderland to return to racing at Rallye du Maroc in October

Understandably frustrated with another DNF, looking at the bigger picture, it was much more important for Sam to withdraw from the Desafio Ruta 40 than risk riding at anything less that 100%. The RX 450F racer will now concentrate on returning to full fitness before lining up for the final round of the 2023 FIM World Rally-Raid Championship – the Rallye du Maroc in October.

Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Team Manager: “It’s been a tough day for the team. After reaching the refueling on stage three, Sam decided that he would not continue due to his sickness. It wasn’t the easiest decision but as he couldn’t ride at his best, he opted to pull out of the race. It’s a shame for sure but it was the right decision and now we can look forward to the upcoming races, starting with the Rally du Maroc in October.”