Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has successfully completed the second stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in eighth place. As the fifth rider to enter the timed special this morning, Price maintained a solid pace through the rolling dunes while aiming to conserve both himself and his KTM 450 RALLY on this first leg of the event’s marathon stage.
Totaling 365 kilometers, and testing riders with a timed special of 257 kilometers, stage two of the ADDC was once again made up of a mixture of tall sand dunes and faster, sandy tracks. With navigation throughout the stage not posing too much of a challenge, finding a solid pace and reading the terrain was key to good result.
Following on from his fifth-place result from stage one, Toby Price came into stage two looking to reduce the gap to the rally leaders. With the special delivering varied and often tricky-to-read terrain, Price used his considerable skill and experience to carefully navigate his way through the blind rises of the dunes, not taking any risks on his KTM 450 RALLY. On this first half of the event’s marathon stage, riders are only permitted 30 minutes to work on their machines, so bike preservation was hugely important.
Completing the stage in eighth place, a mere four minutes down on the eventual winner, Toby now lies sixth overall. However, with just four minutes separating those top six in the provisional overall rally standings, and with Price looking forward to his later start position into Wednesday’s 303-kilometer stage three, the Aussie is fully focused on making up that time to the race leaders.
Toby Price: “Stage two has been good, but just like yesterday, I’m struggling to read the terrain a little and find a good rhythm. The dunes were very similar to stage one, with some having big drops on the far side and others just rolling nicely. It seems every time I try and get my head down and attack, I find one of the dunes with a huge drop and it knocks my confidence a bit. My pace is still good and I’m well in the race, I just need to stay focused and keep it up. Physically I feel great and on this first half of the marathon stage, the bike has been perfect. So all good to go ahead of tomorrow.”
Provisional Results – Stage 2 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023
1. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 3:24:50
2. Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 3:26:07 +1:17
3. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 3:26:34 +1:44
4. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:27:08 +2:18
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 3:27:59 +3:09
6. Mason Klein (USA), KTM, 3:28:11 +3:21
8. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:28:57 +4:07
10. Paolo Lucci (ITA), KTM, 3:36:06 11:16
Provisional Standings – Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023 after 2 of 5 stages
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 7:10:30
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Honda, 7:12:00 +1:30
3. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 7:13:57 +3:27
4. Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 7:13:58 +3:28
5. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 7:14:24 +3:54
6. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 7:14:29 +3:59
9. Mason Klein (USA), KTM, 7:22:00 +11:30
10. Paolo Lucci (ITA), KTM, 7:39:25 +28:55