Not quite 100 percent fighting fit following an unfortunate crash just days before the 2023 Rallye du Maroc kicked off, Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Sam Sunderland dug deep throughout stage one to bring himself home safely in 18th place. Putting in a courageous effort, the Brit was in contention for a top-10 finish early on before losing a little bit of time towards the end of the opening 324-kilometer special.
As the ninth fastest rider on yesterday’s prologue, Sam Sunderland showed that he had the pace to run up front at this year’s Rallye du Maroc and carried that same speed into the opening special. Starting off strong and initially staying in touch with the leaders, the RX 450F racer wisely slowed his pace near the end of the stage to ensure a safe finish.
Andreas Hölzl – Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing Team Manager: “Unfortunately, Sam struggled today because of a crash earlier in the week while roadbook training. Initially his recovery was going really good and we were optimistic, but as we’ve seen today, he’s really struggling. He’s not feeling great which is the main problem. It's nothing serious, he’s just a little sore and struggling to recover from his unfortunate crash this week.”
Results Rallye du Maroc – stage 1 (provisional)
1. Ross Branch (Hero) 3:13:17
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 3:14:58
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 3:17:35
18. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 3:49:29
Provisional Standings – Rallye du Maroc (after stage 1)
1. Ross Branch (Hero) 4:08:42
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) 4:11:23
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 4:14:20
18. Sam Sunderland (GASGAS) 4:47:24