Stage 1: 16th
A solid start to the opening stage special saw Price, in his 10th Dakar Rally, post times inside the top 10 through to the 225-kilometer mark.
A small technical issue at 70 kilometers before the refueling stop unfortunately cost the 36-year-old around seven minutes to his rivals, dropping the Aussie down the timesheets.
With the problem rectified, Price refocused and was able to claw back some time over the latter half of the special, ultimately completing the day in 16th place.
“They promised rocks today and it was definitely rocky – it was all quite tricky to get through while staying focused on the roadbook. I did have a small issue before the refueling that cost me some minutes, but thankfully I was able to fix that and carry on afterwards. I’ve lost a little bit of time on the early leaders, but I’m here safe at the finish and we have a lot of kilometers to race ahead of us. Today’s stage has already shown that the Dakar is tough and can throw up some surprises, so my plan, as always, is to stay consistent and do my best day by day.”
Stage 2: 7th
Covering a total distance of 654 kilometers from Al Henakiyah to Al Duwadimi, competitors raced for a grueling 463 kilometers against the clock over mixed terrain including fast, sandy tracks, rocky pistes, and a 30-kilometer section of dunes.
As the 16th rider to enter the special, Price made his way up inside the top 10, despite making a couple of small navigational errors over the course of the stage.
With times across the final top 10 proving to be incredibly tight, Price ultimately completed the special in 7th, only two minutes from second place.
Lying 8th overall in the standings, Price will enjoy a strong start position going into Monday’s long, 733-kilometer Stage 3.
“Another long day today and this one was quite technical too with some tough navigation. The roadbook had a lot of close notes, and although I made a couple of small mistakes, I didn’t lose too much time. I’m trailing the leaders by a little bit, but it’s only day two here in the desert and there’s a long way to go. All in all, I’m fit, healthy, and kept the bike on two wheels today – so, feeling good and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Stage 3: 9th
Stage 3 proved to be an interesting one for Price - despite showing good speed over the special, Price’s day was far from straightforward.
Stopping to assist 2 different riders didn’t slow the Aussie’s pace and he was able to make up ground on his rivals.
Initially completing the stage in 23rd, with the time lost reallocated to him, Price finished in 9th and now lies 7th overall.
“Yeah, it was quite an eventful stage for me. I made a small mistake early on, which cost me some time. Then I saw Sam (Sunderland) at the side of the track. I stopped to make sure he was ok, but it turned out to be a mechanical issue. After that, I got my head down and tried to make some good progress. I was stuck in the dust of another rider for a fair few kilometers but managed to get past him in the sand and was able to make some good time there. Unfortunately, towards the end of the stage, we came across another rider who had crashed, so we stopped to help him, called the helicopter, and made sure nobody else was in danger. So, it’s been a bit of an up and down day, but we’re here in the bivouac now, the bike is good and getting serviced, and I’m ready for more of the same tomorrow.”