Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has claimed victory at the 2023 Rallye du Maroc.
Fourth quickest in opening prologue, Price chose to start seventh in Stage 1 and had moved up to second by the end of the opening Stage.
The 396-kilometer Stage 2 offered Price a great opportunity to push, and that’s exactly what he did, depsite not earning any bonuses for opening the stage, he was still able to secure second place for the day, and in turn earned himself a strong start position for Stage 3.
Never falling below the top three on time throughout the 336-kilometer special in Stage 3, Price was able to maintain an impressive pace despite only being the second rider through the route.
Finishing just over one minute behind the eventual stage winner, when bonus times for opening the stage were added, Price placed second overall, three minutes down.
Price was second to enter Stage 4’s 343-kilometer timed special, and immediately set about chasing down the rider ahead. Navigating well through the varied and demanding terrain, Toby was able to maintain a strong pace from the front, making the minimum of errors and in turn, earning close to four minutes of bonus time for opening the stage and finished third.
The fight for the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship title came down to the very final kilometer of the stage and Price gave it everything, but Benavides finished second in the stage behind him sealed the Championship with just a four point difference.
Alongside his Rallye du Maroc win, Price also finished second at the Dakar Rally, third at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and fourth at Sonora Rally, however it was a mechanical failure at the Desafio Ruta 40 that ultimately cost him the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship advantage.
Disappointed not to have taken the title, but happy with his performances throughout the year, Price now looks ahead to the 2024 Dakar Rally where he will challenge for his third victory at the world’s toughest rally-raid.
“It was a really good final stage! I had one little mishap but other than that I’m happy to have won the round here in Morocco. The championship is a hard one to swallow, we put up a good fight and did everything we could but 2023 just hasn’t been the greatest season for us. I’m happy in the fact that I never gave up and put in 100 percent right to the finish. I’ll take a little time now to get some rest but then we’re soon looking ahead to the Dakar in January. For sure, it’s going to be another tough one, but I’m feeling good, the bike is great, and I’ll do my best as always.”