Sam Sunderland of GasGas Factory Racing won a second Dakar Rally title after finishing ninth in the 12th and final stage of the 2022 event.
The Briton ended up winning by 3: 27s in the Bikes standings to give GasGas his first crown in the rally-raid blue ribbon event, five years after triumphing for sister brand KTM.
Despite the victory of stage 12, Pablo Quintanilla of Monster Energy Honda could not take second place in the general classification, while Matthias Walkner of Red Bull KTM completed the podium in the rally.
Toby Price, on another of the Red Bull KTM entries, remained 10th overall after setting third fastest in the stage.
Sunderland had led the overall standings for much of the fortnight and started the final day with a margin of 6: 52s over the rest of the field.
While this final leg was a 680 km affair from Bisha to Jeddah, only 164 km of the journey was special stages.
So there were few opportunities for Quintanilla or Walkner, the only two who had a realistic chance of denying Sunderland, to catch up.
That Quintanilla failed to win enough over Sunderland, however, was not for lack of trying.
The Chilean came out strong from sixth place in the road order and was fastest at the kilometer 39 waypoint, 1: 20s faster than the man to beat.
He continued to set the pace at kilometer 81, to which point he had clocked a total of 2: 16s out of the buffer that Sunderland took advantage of.
Quintanilla’s teammate Ricky Brabec, the 2020 Dakar champion, took the upper hand at kilometer 120, while Quintanilla himself extended the gap between him and Sunderland to 2.20am.
The Chilean was back at the top of the stage standings at the finish line, five seconds ahead of Brabec, but only 3:25 ahead of Sunderland.
Price started 28th on the road after a tragedy finding a waypoint on stage 11, and therefore went under the radar at the end of Dakar 2022.
However, the two-time Dakar champion was somewhere in the top four for the duration of Stage 12 and ultimately set the third fastest time, just 18 seconds slower than Quintanilla.
Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (Monster Energy Honda), Joan Barreda Bort (Monster Energy Honda), rookie Mason Klein (BAS World KTM) and Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna Factory Racing) placed fourth to seventh on the stage.
Walkner finished eighth at 28 seconds over Sunderland, Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco TVS Rally Factory) completing the top 10.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Adrien Van Beveren set the 16th fastest time on stage 12, but remains fourth overall, behind Sunderland, Quintanilla and Walkner.
Fifth place went to Barreda, who persevered with shoulder pain after a big crash in Stage 5, the top 10 being completed by Ricky Brabec, Cornejo, Andrew Short (Monster Energy Yamaha), Klein and Price.
Danilo Petrucci of Tech3 KTM, who made history by becoming the first MotoGP rider to win a Dakar Rally stage, currently ranks 31st on the last stage and 28th overall.
Daniel Sanders also had a good chance of winning the event for GasGas Factory Racing before he broke his elbow and wrist in a road accident, while Andrew Houlihan of Nomadas Adventure broke his ribs after an incident on his KTM.
General classification: Bicycles Top 10
|Pos||Rider||Nat||Team||Time / Deviation|
|1||Sam Sunderland||GB||Gas plant race||38:47:30|
|2||Pablo Quintanilla||TO PASS||Monster Energy Honda||+0: 03: 27|
|3||Matthias walkner||WHERE||Red Bull KTM Factory Race||+0: 06: 47|
|4||Adrien Van Beveren||FROM||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||+0: 18: 41|
|5||Joan barreda bort||ESP||Monster Energy Honda||+0: 25: 42|
|6||Ricky brabec||United States||Monster Energy Honda||+0: 34: 04|
|seven||José Ignacio Cornejo Florimo||TO PASS||Monster Energy Honda||+0: 38: 06|
|8||Andrew Short||United States||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||+0: 46: 08|
|9||Mason klein||United States||Lower World KTM Racing||+0: 49: 07|
|ten||Toby Prize||OUTSIDE||Red Bull KTM Factory Race||+0: 49: 20|