Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price and Kevin Benavides have successfully completed the first leg of the 48-hour chrono stage at the 2024 Dakar Rally. Covering 513 kilometers of the 626-kilometer timed special, Price provisionally lies in third place, with teammate Benavides in seventh.

New to the Dakar Rally and the competitors, stage six of this year’s event comprises a 48-hour marathon format with riders covering a total of 835 kilometers over the two days of racing. At 4pm local time, all competitors had to stop at the next bivouac they came to. In the case of Price and Benavides that was at break point F, at the 513-kilometer mark. Tomorrow, riders set off once again in the order they arrived at the rest point, in one-minute intervals, to cover the remaining 113 kilometers of timed special.

Taking advantage of his third-place result on Wednesday’s stage five and the reverse start to today’s special, Toby Price pushed hard right from the off, using his skill and experience to navigate through the vast dunes of the Empty Quarter. Increasing his pace as he chased down the 14 riders ahead of him, Toby moved into third place on the timesheets by kilometer 200 – a position he defended to the close of today’s racing. The Australian will now camp out in the Saudi desert with little in the way of facilities ahead of Friday’s second half of the stage.

Kevin Benavides was the seventh rider to enter the special on stage six. Despite the earlier start, the reigning Dakar champion also attacked hard, maintaining focus on his roadbook to cover the 513 kilometers as seventh-fastest and in a time of in six hours and 42 minutes – an incredible feat of skill and endurance. Looking ahead to Friday’s completion of stage six, Kevin will again use his start position to chase down his rivals ahead over the 113 kilometers left of the stage.

Andreas Hölzl – Rally Team Manager: “The boys did an excellent job today on what was a long, hot, and very tough day in the desert. The stage went well for both riders with no big mistakes or issues, and both of them reached rest point F, which gives them about 120 kilometers to race tomorrow. They are both in a good position to have a strong day tomorrow ahead of a well-earned rest day on Saturday. We’re not halfway through the race yet, but everything is looking good and we’re still well in the fight.”

Provisional Rankings at 513km – 2024 Dakar Rally, Stage 6a

1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 6:30:39
2. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 6:32:00 +1:21
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 6:32:28 +1:49
4. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 6:34:11 +3:32
5. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 6:36:46 +6:07
Other KTM
7. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 6:42:58 +12:19