[KTM]

TOBY PRICE TAKES LEAD IN RALLY-RAID WORLD C’SHIP

1 year ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: KTM Images, Rally Zone

After finishing runner-up in the 2023 Dakar Rally by the smallest margin in the iconic event’s history, Toby Price has bounced back with a barnstorming third-place finish in the recent Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) – a result that sees the 35-year-old Aussie take the lead of the 2023 FIM World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC).

After opening the stage on Day 4, through the toughest conditions seen at this year’s race, Toby Price came into the final day of the ADDC lying sixth Overall and with a seventh-place start position. The two-time Dakar Champion had no option but to use the tracks left in the sand ahead of him to push as hard as he could and try to make up the maximum time on his rivals over the 206-kilometre timed special. And that’s exactly what he did!

Leading on time for the entire stage, Price steadily increased his advantage over the field to ultimately finish close to two-and-a-half minutes ahead of the second-placed rider, Jose Ignacio Cornejo. That gap was crucial as it was Cornejo who Price edged out of podium contention by a mere two seconds after well over 17 hours of racing.

Toby’s podium result at Round 2, added to his runner-up finish at the Dakar Rally, move Price into the lead of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship standings. However, with three rounds left to contest, there’s still a long way to go, starting with Round 3 – the Sonora Rally in Mexico – from April 22-28.

Toby Price: “I had to push really hard on the final stage. Opening on the long Day 4 really knocked me back in the Overall, such were the conditions. I knew my only choice was to push hard on Stage 5, and so I went as hard as I could possibly go for the whole 206 kilometres! To only just make the podium by two seconds is crazy. It shows the level of the riders at the moment in rally, with the results often coming down to seconds and not minutes – and I think that’s really good for the championship. Lastly, the bike and the whole team have been great here in Abu Dhabi, working so hard to give us the tools we need. There’s a little bit of a gap now, but then it’s on to Mexico for the next round.”

Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Team Manager: “Toby did an incredible job in the final stage. We hoped for a podium, but also knew it would be a huge ask on this shorter, final stage. However, Toby put in an incredible ride to take third place by just two seconds – a true testament to his skill and speed. The race here in Abu Dhabi has been a big success, with the whole team doing great work – as always. We’re already looking forward to the next round.”

FINAL STANDINGS – ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE

1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 17:13:39

2. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 17:17:57 +4:18

3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 17:18:52 +5:13

4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 17:18:54 +5:15

5. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 17:19:56 +6:17

2023 FIM WORLD RALLY-RAID C’SHIP (AFTER RD 2)

1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 46 pts

2. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 42 pts

3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 38 pts

4. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 35 pts

5. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 34 pts

Be the first to comment...

You might also like...

KTM

5 days ago

FIRST LOOK: 2025 KTM SX RANGE

KTM’s refined, but not reinvented, 2025 SX range is set to hit the dealer floors from July.

KTM

4 weeks ago

TOBY PRICE & KTM PART WAYS

Has the long and fruitful relationship come to an end for Toby to pursue his career on four wheels?

KTM

1 month ago

VIDEO: 2024 KTM RACING TEAM

The 2024 KTM Racing Team are ready for battle, boasting two dark horse title threats.

KTM

1 month ago

MILNER DOMINATES AORC OPENER

KTM’s Daniel Milner – back in Oz and back to his winning ways at the opening two rounds of the 2024 AORC.

KTM

1 month ago

HARRY NORTON: TEAM MANAGER ON A MISSION!

Australia’s Harry Norton speak candidly about his plumb role with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team.

KTM

1 month ago

THREE-PRONGED KTM AORC ATTACK FOR 2024

Daniel Milner’s DM31 Racing set for the 2024 AORC.

KTM

1 month ago

TOM VIALLE WINS DAYTONA 250SX MAIN EVENT

Two-time MX2 World Champion Vialle, clinches first AMA Supercross victory.

KTM

2 months ago

CHAD REED ON A KTM 125SX TWO-STROKE

Chad Reed jumps on a KTM125SX and rips with his kids!