Toby Price hit back today in Stage 3 of the 2018 Dakar, claiming 3rd in the stage but most importantly showing that he does in fact have the pace to take it to the leaders.
The 2016 winner says he is reassured by the pace that he is maintaining after a year of injuries and no racing.
- STAGE 3: Pisco / San Juan de Marcona
- Liaison > 208 km km – Special > 296 km
“Today was not so bad. It was definitely difficult with the navigation and stuff. We had a couple of small crashes and I blew the end of my camel-back, so I’m a little bit dry at the moment.”
“The navigation tower wasn’t rolling my road-book through, so I was having to do it manually sometimes. It was a little bit difficult in that second part, but we’re here and that’s the main thing, so we’ll just see how the rest of the rally goes.”
“The pace is definitely here and we know we can still run at the front. We’re going to make sure we look after the bike, look after ourselves and avoid making those little crashes where the bike kind of chased me a little bit and landed on top of me a bit.”
“But all-in-all, it was a good day. We’re here at the finish of day three, so now it’s day four to go.”
His third place in the stage today moves him up to 4th overall with a 7 min 28 sec deficit. However, there is a rumour that Toby has been hit with a 5 minute penalty which could drop him to 8th place – watch this space!
Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) has maintained his 21st place overall with an 18th place in the stage.
And Scott Britnell (KTM) has also moved up 4 spots in the overall rankings after a 74th place in today’s stage.
At the front of the field, there were some big shakeups in the positions.
A disastrous navigation error by yesterday’s leader Joan Barreda Bort (Honda) cost the Spaniard 28 minutes and dropped him to 28th overall, 27 min 49 sec behind the new leader Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM).
Sunderland reclaimed the lead after a near faultless run through the dunes, while good runs by Kevin Benavides (Honda) and Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) moved them up to 2nd and 3rd overall.
And poor results by Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM) and Adrien van Beveren has dropped these two riders out of the top 5.
Ah the Dakar! You’re good one day and the next is a drama!
Laia’s 15th placing in today’s stage has moved her closer to her goal of finishing in the top 15 this year.
Top 5 after Stage 3
- 1. Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM)
- 2. Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team) – 00:04:38
- 3. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) – 00:05:00
- 4. Toby Price (Red Bull KTM) – 00:07:28 * to be confirmed – penalty pending
- 5. Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda Team) – 00:08:00
- 4. Toby Price (KTM) – 00:07:28
- 21. Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) – 00:33:44
- 77. Scott Britnell (KTM) – 03:15:22