Toby Price in Tenth after Dakar Stage 2 | News
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders have all delivered solid performances on stage two of the 2018 Dakar Rally with Matthias Walkner completing a superb day to finish third.
Day one winner Sam Sunderland recovered from some early issues to finish seventh while Toby Price excelled towards the end of the special, going on to post the 10th fastest time.
Day two at the 2018 Dakar Rally comprised a short 12km liaison section that led into a gruelling 267km timed special to the east of Pisco. The loop covered similar terrain to the previous day’s short stage – soft sand dunes and blind crests that proved both tiring for the riders and difficult to navigate.
Toby Price continues to get himself dialled in, both to his new KTM 450 RALLY and to competition in general. The Australian increased his pace as the day went on and moved up from his start position of 14th to 10th at the end of the stage.
“It was the first stage with proper navigation today and I did ok. The cars ahead of us were everywhere – I think their numbers must have been halved after today, there were so many of them side-lined,” explained Price.
“I managed to catch Laia quite early on, around the 40 or 50km mark, and we rode together for a while. Overall, I am feeling good and inside the top-10 is not a bad place to be. I just need to concentrate on my riding, navigation and hopefully I can pick up the pace a little as the race progresses.”
Improving on his sixth-place result from day one, Matthias Walkner rode well in the heat of the desert. The Austrian moved through the field as the stage progressed to finish in third place, less than two minutes behind second-placed Adrien van Beveren. Walkner was pleased with his result and hopes to carry his pace into tomorrow’s longer stage.
Matthias Walkner: “Conditions were tough out there today. Following the cars made navigation a little easier but the stage was quite bumpy with all the tracks left by the vehicles in front. Personally, I’m feeling well, but I know we have a long way to go and things are only going to get harder. I know from experience that the race isn’t won on these first few days, in fact there are about 15 guys who are riding well and up near the front. I’ll keep on riding consistently, see how the next few stages go and aim to get to the rest day in a good position.”
Day one winner Sam Sunderland opened the road for the bikes. Although the motorcycles set off behind the cars today, navigation was still tricky and it was easy to make mistakes in the mountainous dunes of the stage. Placing seventh today means Sunderland will be looking to chase down the leaders on tomorrow’s 500km stage three.
Sam Sunderland: “I’m happy with how things went today. I would have liked to finish a little higher up the order, but it was never going to be easy being the first bike on the stage. I thought it wouldn’t be too bad following the cars but as it turned out the first 50 or 60km of the stage were in chaos. The car tracks went everywhere as they had struggled to climb some of the dunes. I ended up catching a few and riding in their dust. It was hot out there today, but I felt ok even after such a tough stage. I’ve got a good start position for tomorrow so we’ll see what that brings.”
Provisional Results Stage Two – 2018 Dakar Rally
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 2:56:44
2. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 2:59:38 +2:54
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:01:08 +4:24
4. Michael Metge (FRA), Honda, 3:01:23 +4:39
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 3:02:27 +5:43
7. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 3:02:45 +6:01
10. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:03:24 +6:40
13. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 3:05:27 +8:43
19. Luciano Benavides (ARG), KTM, 3:12:15 +15:31
24. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 3:17:42 +21:13
Provisional Standings after Stage Two – 2018 Dakar Rally
1. Joan Barreda (ESP), Honda, 3:18:36
2. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 3:21:06 +2:30
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:23:26 +4:50
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 3:23:40 +5:04
5. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 3:24:20 +5:44
10. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:27:40 +9:04
13. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 3:28:11 +9:35
18. Luciano Benavides (ARG), KTM, 3:36:38 +18:02
20. Laia Sanz (ESP), KTM, 3:42:08 +23:32