Sam Sunderland favourite as KTM eyes 19th consecutive Dakar Rally win

Sam Sunderland heads into the new look 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia as one of the favourites to extend KTM's dominant run of 18 consecutive wins

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - Dakar Rally 2019.jpg

Sam Sunderland heads into the new-look 2020 Dakar Rally as one of the big favourites for victory as KTM bids for a 19th consecutive win on the iconic rally raid event.

The British rider is among a five-strong line-up for the KTM Factory as he looks to build on his title victory in the 2019 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, alongside Toby Price – the 2019 winner - Matthias Walkner, Luciano Benavides and Mario Patrao.

Sunderland became the first Briton to win the two-wheel class of the Dakar Rally in 2017 when the event was held in South America.

For 2020, the event moves to Saudi Arabia for the first time, representing a brand-new challenge for a manufacturer that has dominated the event since 2001.

“I’m confident going into this Dakar,” Sunderland said. “You kind of judge your pace on how you have been riding the previous year and winning the world championship and coming third in the Dakar earlier in the year has been a real boost for me.

“Both the team and the bike have been fantastic all year and I’m going into the race fit and focused on doing my best. I’m looking forward to the new challenge that awaits us too – it’s going to be a new adventure for everybody and I think that really sums up the spirit of the Dakar.

“I like the fact that we are going somewhere new and that everyone is going to have to adapt and overcome all the new things that are thrown at us. The route is looking tough, but I’m certainly going to give the race my best shot.”