Red Bull KTM Factory Rider Toby Price is sitting 3rd overall in the 2020 Dakar Rally after Stage 6.
STAGE 4 - 6th
Overall Position - 4th
Stage 4 of the 2020 Dakar Rally saw riders leave Neom and head east to Al-‘Ula over fast, rock-strewn tracks, riders had to focus intently on their road books to avoid mistakes.
With the most challenging terrain and navigation found during the last 50 kilometres, the stage was a true test of endurance for the competitors, who raced for close to four and a half hours.
Putting in a consistent pace throughout today’s stage, Price finished in 6th, just less than three minutes behind the day’s winner and moved into 4th overall.
“It’s been a good solid day’s riding for me, I made a few mistakes but nothing major. I don’t want to bash myself up or bend the bike so I’ve just tried to ride consistently and stay in touch with the other guys. We’re still in contention and there’s still a long way to go.”
STAGE 5 - 1st
Overall Position - 2nd
Stage 5 from Al-‘Ula to Ha’il composed of a 353-kilometre timed special beginning with fast, stony tracks before opening out into expansive dunes.
Price pushed hard right from the off and the Australian had moved into the lead by the 152 kilometre mark.
From there, the reigning Dakar champion maintained a strong pace, making the minimum of mistakes, to bring his KTM 450 RALLY home over one-minute ahead of the second-placed rider.
Price's second stage win of the Rally moved him into second place overall, 9 minutes behind the leader.
“It was a good day for me today – we’ve seen a big change in scenery with the last half of the stage in the dunes. I got my head down at the start and made some good progress even though it was a bit tricky out there today. I’ve made up some more time on the leaders, which is good and hopefully we’ll have another strong day in the sand tomorrow. I want to wish Sam all the best after his fall today too – hopefully he’s back on the bike again soon.”
STAGE 6 - Position 11th
Overall Position - 3rd
Price set out on his final leg of racing before the rest day with a long 830-kilometre stage that included a 477-kilometre special ridden entirely in sand.
The Australian had the unenviable task of leading the motorcycle class out into the longest timed special so far, but despite the disadvantage, Price rode impeccably, carrying good speed over the Saudi sand and navigating well at the front.
With the best part of the stage complete, Price's tyre came off his wheel forcing him to stop, until Andrew Short, out of winning contention, pulled up and handed his wheel over to Price.
Price lost around 10 minutes and finished 11th fastest on the stage but still lies in a provisional third overall and is fully focused on regaining the lead of the rally.
“It’s been a long stage today with long liaisons, definitely one of the toughest so far. Leading out was going really well for most of the day – I was navigating good, my pace was good, but then at about 390 kilometres I had an issue and had no choice but to stop. Luckily another rider was able to help me out and I got going again. I lost some time, which is frustrating but we’re only at the halfway point now and there’s a long way to go.”
OVERALL DAKAR RALLY STANDINGS
1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 23:43:47
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 24:04:43 +20:56
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 24:09:26 +25:39
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 24:09:28 +25:41
5. Joan Barreda (ARG), Honda, 24:16:45 +32:58