Toby Price has finished 3rd overall in the Dakar Rally, and claimed two Stage wins, just six short weeks after getting back on his bike following his injury in the 2017 event.
Price was ecstatic to leave Dakar with two Stage wins and to reach the podium on return from injury.”It was great to get my first stage win at Stage 11, it was a little bit tricky in Stage 13 but we made some time in the first section of the stage,” said Price.
“In the second part it was a bit harder to make up time but the bike went really well and I’m feeling good, one more day to go so it’s still not over yet but it’s coming to a close pretty quick. I am happy to get to the finish line, that was our main goal. 2nd for Stage 14, and all in all I’m really pumped to be at the finish and to come away with 3rd overall is something I wasn’t expecting on return from injury! The whole Red Bull KTM Factory Racing crew have done a great job and have made a mammoth task a little easier. I’m stoked to walk away from this fit and healthy and looking forward to 12 months prep for the 2019 Dakar Rally!”
STAGE 11: BELÉN – FIAMBALA/CHILECITO
Price was fastest to each waypoint on the 280km special stage from Belén to Fiambalá/Chilecito, and claimed his first stage win of the 2018 Rally.
The Aussie also shaved 11 minutes out of his 50-minute deficit to teammate and leader Matthias Walkner during one of the toughest Argentinian stages.
Price was ecstatic to claim his first Stage win after a horror stage the day prior, and was aiming to push his hardest for the remainder of the rally.
Stage 12 was cancelled the next day due to unfavourable weather forecasts, and as a result Price only had two more stages to work on closing the 39 minute gap to the leader.
STAGE 13: SAN JUAN – CORDOBDA
Price was fastest to all but the first waypoint on the event’s penultimate stage, battling Kevin Benavides and Antoine Meo the whole way before finishing two minutes clear of each to tighten his hold on 3rd overall.
The Stage 13 win allowed Price to claim back 2 minutes in the overall standings on second-placed Benavides and over 11 minutes on rally leader Walkner.
Price had a five-minute deficit to Benavides in 2nd overall but was looking forward to giving the last Stage his all.
STAGE 14: CORDOBA – CORDOBA
The final 120km Stage proved to be a challenging ride for competitors, and Price was able to push hard to claim some time in the first 40km but wasn’t able to advance from there.
Price finished 2nd in the Stage and 3rd in the 2018 Dakar Rally with a time of 43 hours and 29 minutes, short of the winner and his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate, Matthias Walkner, by 23 minutes.
Provisional Final Standings – 2018 Dakar Rally
1. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 43:06:01
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 43:22:54 +16:53
3. Toby Price (AUT), KTM, 43:29:02 +23:01
4. Antoine Meo (FRA), KTM, 43:53:29 +47:28
5. Gerard Farres (ESP), KTM, 44:07:05 +1:01:04