Price fit for big attack on second week of Dakar

Toby Price

Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price is looking at a big attack on the second week of the Dakar Rally given how he fared physically over the first six stages.

The two-time champion is an uncharacteristically low 12th at 39:09s off the pace as the field enjoys the rest day for the 2022 event, largely due to getting lost on Stage 1B.

Still, with far more technical terrain expected over the latter six stages, there exists the opportunity to move up the classification.

Furthermore, unlike other big guns who have had to grit their teeth in recent days, such as Honda’s Joan Barreda Bort, Price is in a favourable physical state.

“It’s been a very up and down first week for me,” said the Australian, who famously won Dakar 2019 with a broken wrist.

“After day one, I’ve been racing hard to try and get back on terms with the others, and so far, it’s going well.

“It’s been a tricky first week and so I’m expecting much of the same in week two – hopefully I’ve had my share of bad luck already so I can look forward to something good over the next six days.

“The organisers have really tried to make things tough for us this year, which is what we expected; the key is to try and stay smooth and stay on top of the roadbook and all the little changes.

“Looking ahead, I’m feeling good physically, I’ve only had one little tip-off and that is important at the rest day – it leaves you fit and free to really attack the second half of the race.

“Hopefully, if all goes well, some of the others ahead will makes some mistakes as the fatigue sets in and I can capitalise on that at the right time.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s best as it stands is another Dakar champion, 2018 winner Matthias Walkner, in second overall.

He splits the two GasGas Factory Racing riders, being 2:39s behind Sam Sunderland and 2:56s up on Australian Daniel Sanders.

Stage 7, a 701km journey from Riyadh to Al Dawadimi including 402km of special stage running, starts this afternoon (AEDT), with Sanders leading the field out.

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