Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has stormed to second place on a challenging stage two at the 2023 Rallye du Maroc. The result moves the Australian up to second overall in the provisional overall standings. Matthias Walkner also enjoyed a solid day in the Moroccan desert, posting the fifth quickest time on his KTM 450 RALLY.
Another tough day in the saddle on stage two as riders completed a looped course starting and finishing at the bivouac at Zagora. Totaling 396 kilometers, the stage featured a 296-kilometer special that wound its way around the dunes of M’Hamid. Rough tracks, demanding navigation, and lots of sand was on the menu for all.
Today offered Toby Price a great opportunity to push, and that’s exactly what he did. Fifth into the special following his result on stage one, Price soon moved up to second place on time. Despite not earning any bonuses for opening the stage, he was still able to secure second place for the day, and in turn earned himself a strong start position for Monday’s stage three.
Toby Price: “Yeah, second today is good and I’m happy with that. The stage was a little bit more technical than yesterday which I liked although I did make a couple of little mistakes early on. After that though I got into a good rhythm and maintained a decent pace throughout. It’s still early in the race but moving up to second overall and closing in the leader is great and we’re in a good place. There are three stages to go and I’ll keep pushing and fighting until the very end.”
Following on from his top-three result on the rally’s opening stage, Matthias Walkner was the third rider to enter today’s special. With navigation proving to be hugely demanding, Walkner made sure to stay focused through the early kilometers to ensure he didn’t make any mistakes. Finding a good rhythm and maintaining a strong pace, the Austrian star secured fifth place at the finish line, helped in part by the 41 seconds of bonus time he accumulated for assisting in opening the stage. With three days of racing remaining, Walkner lies fourth overall.
Matthias Walkner: “I had another really good day today. I enjoyed the stage a lot more than yesterday. Today’s stage had a mix of everything. Different terrain, nice landscapes, and I felt great on the bike all day. I'm happy with my speed and my fifth-place finish and with a short liaison after today’s stage, it gives me more time to rest before tomorrow.”
Provisional Results – 2023 Rallye du Maroc, Stage 2
1. Tosha Schareina (ESP), Honda, 3:02:15
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:03:15 +1:00
3. Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 3:04:36 +2:21
4. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 3:05:49 +3:34
5. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:07:11 +4:56
Provisional Standings – 2023 Rallye du Maroc (after 2 of 5 stages)
1. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 7:18:15
2. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 7:19:19 +1:04
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Honda, 7:20:36 +2:21
4. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 7:21:31 +3:34
5. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 7:22:04 +3:49