Red Bull KTM Factory Rider Toby Price currently sits 6th overall in the 2019 Dakar Rally after Stage 3.
Stage 1 - 1st
Overall Position - 1st
The opening stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally presented riders with a huge challenge, made up 433 kilometres of liaison and a 319-kilometre timed special, the gruelling route led competitors north from Jeddah along the Red Sea coast to Al Wajh with a mixture of fast, rocky pistes and soft sand dunes.
Carrying the number one plate, Price had the advantageous position of being the 23rd rider to enter the day’s stage and immediately pushed hard from the start, posting the second fastest time to the first waypoint.
A small issue with his navigation equipment looked set to reduce Toby’s pace with a seized road book making navigation difficult, but thankfully he was able to tag on to the back of teammate Walkner and the pair brought their KTM 450 RALLY machines home safely and in good time, with Price fastest overall.
"A solid start our 2020 Dakar Rally! I had a few issues with my roadbook, something got jammed early on so I was really trying to get this sorted by adjusting the toggle switch throughout the stage as well as focusing on the task at hand but then later the roadbook actually tore so I didn't have a roadbook for the last bit of the stage. Our end result makes the day look good but it certainly did not go smoothly, we've got another 11 days to go with a lot more challenges ahead of us!"
Stage 2 - 15th
Overall Position - 9th
Stage 2 of the 2020 Dakar Rally presented riders with several new challenges, the pre-coloured road books used for the first time this year were only given to competitors 25 minutes before the start of the 367-kilometre timed special and with the day marking the first half of the event’s Super Marathon stage, riders were only allowed 10 minutes to work on their bikes at the end of the day with no outside assistance permitted.
Price had the unenviable task of opening Stage 2 and combined with the limited time to acquaint himself with the road book, made navigating the stage extremely tricky from the front of the pack.
Despite the disadvantages, the reigning champion put in a good ride to 15th place and was 9th in the overall standings, 7:34 down from the leader.
“Today was always going to be tough, leading out from the start without having had much time to read the road book. The stage went ok, I lost some time to the others but the most important thing is I looked after my bike and the tyres so I should be in good shape to close down on the leaders again tomorrow. There’s still a long, long way to go, but the bike is working great, things are looking good and I’m happy.”
Stage 3 - 5th
Overall Position - 6th
Stage 3 marked the second half of the Super Marathon stage with the 504-kilometre looped stage featuring 427 kilometres of timed special through canyons and up into the mountains.
A GPS issue that affected all competitors and resulted in many of the front runners, including Price, being unable to find a waypoint at the end of the stage.
As a result, event organisers took the results from the 389 kilometre mark, rather than the final 427-kilometre mark as originally planned, and Price completed the shortened stage in 5th as opposed to 12th where he finished after facing the GPS issue.
Price has moved up to 6th in the overall standings and will enjoy a strong start position for Stage 4.
“It’s been a tough day, but not too bad. Things were going well in the morning – a few mistakes here and there but nothing too bad. I just tried to stay on two wheels, ride safe and bring it home. Obviously the issue towards the end threw us all a bit, but it’s nice that the organisers acknowledged that quickly and rectified the results. The stage was really beautiful – lots of canyons and camels – I’m feeling good and keen to get going again tomorrow.”
- 1 - Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 10:39:04
- 2 - Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 10:43:47 +4:43
- 3 - Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 10:45:06 +6:02
- 4 - Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda 10:50:06 +11:02
- 5 - Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 10:50:23 +11:19
- 6 - Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 10:51:02 +11:58