Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has successfully completed stage two of the Desafio Ruta 40. The stage wasn’t without incident however, with a technical issue forcing Price to stop and subsequently receive assistance and parts from teammate Matthias Walkner. While Toby was able to complete the stage, FIM regulations prohibit Matthias from continuing the event.
Totaling 460 kilometers, stage two of the Desafio Ruta 40 challenged riders with a mixture of terrain ranging from wide-open salt lakes to technical riverbeds. As the fourth rider to enter the 339-kilometer special, Toby Price immediately set about chasing down the riders ahead of him. Making solid progress through the first 135 kilometers, the Australian placed fourth when he reached the refueling.
It was soon after that stop that disaster struck the two-time Dakar Champion when he was forced to stop with a damaged rear shock. Unable to repair the damage, Toby had no option but to wait for assistance. Thankfully that soon came as Matthias Walkner stopped to aid his friend and teammate and get Price back underway to complete the stage.
Although Toby crossed the line in provisional 18th place, the teamwork carried out kept him both in the race and in the running for the 2023 FIM World Rally-Raid title. Price will now focus on the remaining three stages of the event and securing a safe, solid finish.
In stopping to assist his teammate and donating parts from his KTM 450 RALLY, Matthias Walkner was forced to forfeit his participation in the Desafio Ruta 40 due to FIM regulations. The Austrian star will be back in action at round five, the Rallye du Maroc, in October.
Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Team Manager: “Unfortunately, shortly after refueling, Toby had an issue with his shock and was forced to stop. Thankfully Matthias offered his assistance and together, along with parts from Matthias’ bike, they were able to fix the bike and get Toby back into the race. While this keeps Toby’s championship hopes alive, it does mean that Matthias will no longer play any part in the remainder of this year’s Desafio Ruta 40. I’m extremely proud of my riders, and now we focus on the remaining three days of racing.”
Provisional Results – 2023 Desafio Ruta 40, Stage 2
1. Tosha Schareina (ESP), Honda, 3:27:40
2. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 3:32:22 +4:42
3. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 3:35:19 +7:39
4. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 3:38:12 +10:32
5. Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 3:39:51 +11:26
18. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 4:36:10 +1:08:30
Provisional Standings – 2023 Desafio Ruta 40 (after 2 of 5 stages)
1. Tosha Schareina (ESP), Honda, 7:22:40
2. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 7:27:23 +4:43
3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 7:36:00 +13:20
4. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 7:37:18 +14:38
5. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 7:42:51 +20:11
15. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 8:34:27 +1:11:47