Dakar: Stage winners Sunderland (bikes), Bonetto (quads) among latest to withdraw


The 2015 Dakar Rally continues to take a heavy toll.

Stage 1 motorcycle winner Sam Sunderland of the factory KTM team, as well as Stage 3 quad winner Lucas Bonetto, are among the latest to withdraw from the event.

Sunderland (pictured) crashed near the 60km mark in yesterday’s Stage 4 from Chilecito, Argentina to Copiapo, Chile. His shoulder was injured in the incident, and while KTM reported that X-rays did not reveal any fractures, the British rider is still going home after another rough Dakar.

Sunderland himself detailed his experiences in a Facebook post:

After his Stage 1 victory last Sunday, Sunderland made a navigation error in Stage 2 and promptly fell down the overall standings as a result of the mishap. He bounced back to finish 11th in Stage 3 before crashing yesterday.

His withdrawal continues his bad luck in the world’s toughest rally. Sunderland suffered an electrical failure in 2012, failed to start in 2013 with broken wrists, and lost an engine in Stage 4 last year – the same stage where he’s bowing out now.

As for Bonetto, who thrilled his fellow Argentinians with his win on home soil from San Juan to Chilecito, he was forced to give up the fight due to mechanical problems on his Honda quad.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.