Consistency is the key to Australian rider Toby Price’s fourth Dakar Rally, now sitting in third place after four stages and carrying the hopes of his nation for a second historic win.
Unfortunately, fellow Aussie Rodney Faggotter is out after mechanical failures on his factory Yamaha on stage three.
It was the Queenslander’s fifth Dakar mission after finishing 16th last year.
Australia’s two other Dakar competitors are rookies Victorian Ben Young (#72 Duust Rally Team) and Canberran James Ferguson (#121 KTM).
Young is in a commendable 21st position among the rookies and 67th overall.
James was in 106th overall out of 149 starters at the end of stage 3 and 34th among the rookies.
So far, he has not come in, but at this point only 95 have finished the gruelling 406km fourth stage. We will update when James finishes.
This year’s Dakar is unique as it is being staged in only one country, Peru, and so far almost ll the racing has been in the dunes.
It’s also one of the most competitive with four different winner sin the four stages and three different bike brands.
KTM, which is chasing its 18th straight win, has only scored a win in the second stage for last year’s winner, Austrian Matthais Walkner.
Joan Barreda Bort won the firsts age on his Honda, Xavier de Soultrait won stage three for Yamaha and American Ricky Brabec scored Honda’s second stage win over night.
Ricky is now leading, ahead of consistent riders Pablo Quintanilla for Husqvarna just 2 minutes behind, ahead of Toby who is less than six minutes form the lead.
Toby, who is also the first Australian to win the World Cross-Country Rallies Championship with victory in the final round in Morocco last month, is nursing a mending broken wrist.
“The wrist is a little sore but I think I’ll make the distance, it’s all or nothing!” says Toby who won in only his second Dakar in 2016.
Toby started racing the Dakar in 2015, became a KTM factory rider in 2016 and was the first Aussie to win the rally. He broke his leg in 2017 and last year finished an unbelievable third despite not racing for a year due to injury.
Toby’s strategy in each event is consistency in the first half and attack in the second half which starts next week.
Click here if you would like to send him best wishes for a successful rally.