The reigning Dakar Rally Champion, Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team’s Toby Price, claimed his second stage win Thursday during the 2020 Dakar Rally, which debuts in Saudi Arabia.
Price, who won last year’s rally while riding with a broken wrist, took over the lead by mile 94 of 220 in the timed special that presented a scenery change of stony tracks to sand dunes from Al-‘Ula to Ha’il.
The 32-year-old Australian kept a strong pace, taking the stage-five win aboard his KTM 450 Rally by 1:12-minutes ahead of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla (Chile) and 2:31 over America’s former Supercross competitor, Andrew Short, who pilots the other factory Husqvarna FR 450 Rally.
“It was a good day for me today – we’ve seen a big change in scenery with the last half of the stage in the dunes,” Toby Price said.
“I got my head down at the start and made some good progress even though it was a bit tricky out there today. I’ve made up some more time on the leaders, which is good and hopefully we’ll have another strong day in the sand tomorrow. I want to wish Sam all the best after his fall today too – hopefully he’s back on the bike again soon.”
Though he has won stages one and five, Price remains second overall behind the stage-three winner, Monster Energy Honda’s Ricky Brabec, who DNF’d during both the 2018 and 2019 Dakar Rallies while in the lead.
The American CRF450R Rally pilot, who finished fourth during stage 5, has a 9:06-minute lead over Price with seven stages remaining.
Friday marks stage six of 2020 Dakar Rally. The second-longest stage will take riders 515 miles with a 296-mile special from Ha’il toward the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Riders will encounter mostly sand tracks and dunes.
2020 Dakar Rally Stage 5 Results
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:57:33
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 3:58:45 +1:12
3. Andrew Short (USA), Husqvarna, 4:00:04 +2.31
4. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 4:00:36 +3:03
5. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 4:04:27 +6:54
2020 Dakar Rally Standings (after five of 12 stages)
1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 19:07:19
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 19:16:25 +9:06
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 19:18:51 +11:32
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 19:23:20 +16:01
5. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 19:27:44 +20:25