2017 Dakar Rally Stage 2 Motorcycles Recap & Video
Though he finished 17th during the opening stage of 2017 Dakar Rally, Red Bull KTM Factory Rally’s Toby Price returned to the top during Tuesday’s second stage.
The Australian, who won the 2016 Dakar Rally during his sophomore race attempt, dominated Tuesday’s 171-mile special that took riders from Resistencia, Portugal, to San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina.
Price ended the day 3:51 minutes ahead of Monster Energy Honda Team’s Paulo Goncalves, and 4:06 ahead of Viltais Racing Team Yamaha’s Xavier de Soultrait, the Yamaha WR450 Rally pilot who initially won stage 1 but was penalized for speeding. Stage 2 was one of the longest stages in the rally; riders rode nearly 500 miles by day’s end.
Price now takes the overall 2017 Dakar Rally lead after two of 12 stages by 2:54 minutes ahead of Golcalves. The other Red Bull KTM 450 Rally pilot, Sam Sunderland, is in third, 3:23 behind.
Speaking of Price, the official Dakar press says: “Toby Price lived up to his race number 1 by dominating the battle on this second stage. The Australian, the first non-European to have won the Dakar, went on all out attack to leave his team-mate Matthias Walkner and the leading Honda ridden by Paulo Goncalves trailing in his wake. His main rivals of 2016, Pablo Quintanilla and Stefan Svitko are even further back, while Joan Barreda has just managed to creep into the top 10.”
“It was a really, really fast stage but with no navigation,” Price said after 2017 Dakar Rally Stage 2. “It was a really long day: we had a 274-km special and we’re at 38 or 40°C right now, so it’s definitely been a hot one on the bike and part of the equipment, but we’re here at the end of day two. Another victory there; I can’t complain – it’s all gone alright.
“I had a quick look at the time on the thing, but I’m not too sure of the gap. It’s only early days so it’s just nice and smooth and consistent for the rest of the week and looking forward to pushing hard the second week. It was really crazy. There were a lot of cows. It was really hard coming through all the dust there this morning. A couple of them caught me a bit by surprise.
“All in all, we’ve had a good stage and I can’t complain and hopefully there’s more to come. You’re going along this roads that aren’t more than a car width’s wide and if a cow steps out from behind one of the trees or the bushes it’s not going to be too pretty, but you’ve already got enough to do than think about that when you’re on the bike in the middle of the stage.
“But when you’re sitting here right now you just think that was really wild. All is good and I’m ready to go for another day. We have more kangaroos back home than cows, but I’d rather pick on a kangaroo a little bit more than a cow, but all in all, I got through it.”
As for the sole American in 2017 Dakar, Monster Energy Honda Team’s Ricky Brabec finished seventh in stage 2, and is in sixth overall, 4:29 minutes behind Price.
2017 Dakar Rally Stage 3 Preview
Wednesday’s stage three will take riders a total of 485 miles from San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina, with a timed special of 226 miles.
2017 Dakar Rally Stage 2 Results
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 02:37:32
2. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 02:41:23, +03:51
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 02:41:38, +04:06
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 02:41:51, +04:19
5. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 02:42:20, +04:48
6. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, 02:42:26, +04:54
2017 Dakar Rally Overall Results (after stage 2):
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 03:07:17
2. Paulo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 03:10:11, +02:54
3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 03:10:40, +03:23
4. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 03:10:58, +03:41
5. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 03:11:43, +04:26
6. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 03:11:46, +04:29