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.