It’s safe to say that week one at the 2024 Dakar Rally has simply flown by, and for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Daniel Sanders, it’s been a week of improving results. After a steady start, bear in mind he’s been off his GASGAS RX 450F for quite some time due to injury, Chucky came out swinging on stages five and six to place fourth on both and move up to seventh overall. All things considered, we’d say that it’s been a successful week for the man from down under.
Racing at the 2024 Dakar Rally resumes tomorrow with stage seven. Expected to be a special of two halves – the first being a maze of rocky canyons before riders reach a long stretch of sand dunes – it’s gonna be gnarly, but Sanders is fired-up to kick off week two in style. The remaining stages then take place on terrain to Chucky’s liking, so we’ve no doubt that he’ll remind everyone about what he’s capable of as he continues to work his way up the overall leaderboard.
And we can’t sign off week one without a tip of the cap to Daniel’s teammate, Sam Sunderland, who was unfortunately forced to withdraw from the event following a rare technical issue on stage three. See you soon, Sam!
Daniel Sanders: “What can I say about week one? Well, it was a bit of a slow start for me really. Stage one was really tough, and I didn’t set the bike up so well for it, just because I didn’t expect it to be so rocky, but from then on, with a few small changes, I’ve felt great on the bike. Each day has been a little better, and then on stage five and the chrono stage I was able to make up some time, and my confidence has been coming back too. Overall, I didn’t have the best start to the race and I expected it to go a little bit better, but now that we’re well into things I have a bit of momentum going. For week two I’ll be working on keeping mistakes to a minimum and keep on closing in on the leaders. I like the terrain where we’re headed next week so hopefully this will play into my favor and we can have a stronger week of racing.”
Andreas Hölzl – Rally Team Manager: “Obviously it was a shame that Sam left the race early on and it was unexpected for sure. I’m really sorry for him because I know he had prepared well for the Dakar. For Daniel, it’s nice for him to be back racing after such a long time off the bike and he’s doing very well. Week one went quite well for him, especially on the chrono stage, so this should set him up for a good week next week.”
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 6)
1. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 27:11:21
2. Ross Branch (Hero) 27:12:12
3. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 27:20:42
7. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 27:47:11