Toby Price has declared that his latest Dakar stage win “doesn’t mean much” given his expectation that results will continue to fluctuate.
The Red Bull KTM rider has won two of the three stages held thus far in Saudi Arabia in 2021, but was exactly 32 minutes off the pace in Stage 2 when he had to open the road.
Starting 29th in the road order for the latest hit-out, Price was no worse than 1:06s from the stage lead at any waypoint and ultimately prevailed by just over a minute.
In doing so, he rose from 15th in the general classification at 17:39s off the pace to fourth, 1:52s behind surprise event leader Skyler Howes.
An earlier report stated that Price was third overall and trailed Howes by within a minute; organisers have since updated stage times for multiple riders
See below for updated general classification
The two-time champion’s cause was helped by factory Honda riders Joan Barreda Bort and Ricky Brabec, who finished one-two in Stage 2 to move into the same overall positions, went the other way given they had the burden of leading the field out for the 629km loop around Wadi Ad-Dawasir.
Having already predicted “some big swings in the standings” after Stage 1, Price was circumspect in how he evaluated his latest result.
“So far, it’s been up and down,” observed the Australian.
“It’s quite frustrating to be in front one day and then at the back the next.
“The difficulty of the navigation means it’s hard to open the road.
“I’m going to have to do it tomorrow, but I hope there’ll be a bit of respite and that it will be a day that’s less complicated on the navigational front.
“The result doesn’t mean much, because there are ups and downs.
“But anyway, it’s been a good day for me. The bike’s working well, I didn’t fall and I didn’t have any fuel problems like yesterday.
“Every day is going to count right up until the last one, but so far there have been no major problems.”
Stage 4 spans 813km from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Riyadh and includes a 337km special.
General classification: Bikes Top 10*, Updated
|3||Xavier de Soultrait||FRA||Husqvarna||+0:01:28|
|8||Joan Barreda Bort||ESP||Honda||+0:09:02|
|9||Adrien Van Beveren||FRA||Yamaha||+0:09:09|
|10||Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo||CHI||Honda||+0:09:24|
* 13th Ricky Brabec (USA, Honda, +00:12:15)