We’re heading back out into the dunes for this year’s final round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship – the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Aussie hard charger Daniel Sanders will be taking on the event for the first time in his career, hoping to secure a runner-up finish in the 2021 series standings onboard his RC 450F.

  • Sanders set for first Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
  • Five-day event features close to 2,000km of riding
  • Race marks team’s final competitive outing before Dakar

Looking to gain as much race experience and time on his GASGAS RC 450F as possible, Daniel Sanders has opted to race the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in preparation for the Dakar Rally next January. Although the rallies world championship title was decided at the previous round in Morocco, the fight for second place is still very much alive, with Sanders holding a seven-point advantage over the third-placed rider.

As well as fighting for his first overall victory in the series and securing his place in the championship standings, Daniel will use the event to hone his road book skills in a race known for its technically demanding navigation. With the dunes of the Liwa Desert very similar to those found at the Dakar, the experience should prove invaluable when fighting it out at the big one next January.

Challenging riders with five full days of racing, and scheduled to cover 1949km, including 1357km of timed special stages, the 2021 Abu Dhabi looks set to test all competitors with its mix of tough navigation and long grueling days in the dunes. Bring it on!

Daniel Sanders: “I’m really excited to take on the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and get in some racing before the Dakar in January. Things went well at the last round of the championship in Morocco, and since then we’ve been training hard, working on the bike, and doing more road book stuff. I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi before so I’m looking forward to going and racing there. From what I’ve seen the desert looks really good – it has some nice dunes that should suit me, and it looks like it will be a really good warm-up for Dakar. There will be a good element of strategy, which again is good to learn more about and will help to build my skills. I’m going into the race to win it – I think if all goes well, I’ve got a good chance to do that. I’m second in the championship right now so to confirm that and finish my first full season as runner-up will be amazing.”