KTM 450 Rally-mounted Australian Toby Price has begun his first Dakar Rally Marathon stage in great shape, finishing fifth in today’s high-altitude journey from Iquique to Uyuni in Bolivia, on the back of the event’s mid-race rest day.
This comes after an incredible second place finish in stage six, which gained the attention of a few Australian motorsport icons including Cameron Donald, Eric Bana and Mark Webber.
— Cameron Donald (@CameronDonald86) January 9, 2015
— Toby Price (@tobyprice87) January 10, 2015
Portuguese Paolo Goncalves topped the timesheets in today’s 321km timed component with defending champion Marc Coma second, and KTM-mounted Austrian rookie Matthias Walkner finishing third.
Coma’s charge slashed almost six minutes off the KTM rider’s deficit to Barreda Bort in the overall standings, with over 2000 kilometres of Special Stage yet to come.
Continuing his brilliant rookie run, Toby Price has maintained the outstanding 5th place he holds in his first tilt at the world’s biggest off-road race.
Dakar Rally competitors must always exercise great care over long hours, however the two-day Marathon Stages require even greater vigilance, particularly when it comes to preserving and protecting tyres since riders are isolated from the assistance of their teams for the duration of the marathon.
The Marathon stage concludes tomorrow – not with a whimper, but a roar – as a huge 781km timed section marks the longest Special Stage of the Dakar Rally, with the majority of it run between 3600 and 4000 metres.
Dakar Rally Stage Seven, Iquique to Uyuni – 713km
1. Paolo Goncalves, POR, Honda 3 hours 56.00
2. Marc Coma, ESP, KTM at 00.14
3. Matthias Walkner, AUT, KTM at 00.30
4. Pablo Qunitanilla, CHI, KTM at 1.32
5. Toby Price, AUS, KTM at 1:49
6. Joan Pedrero, ESP, Yamaha at 3.20
7. Alain Duclos, FRA, Sherco at 3.48
8. Helder Rodrigues, POR, Honda at 4.05
9. Stefan Svitko, SVK, KTM at 5.00
10. Riaan van Niekerk, RSA, KTM at 6.06
Dakar Rally Overall Standings After Stage 7:
1. Barreda 25:40.48
2. Coma, KTM at 6.28
3. Goncalves at 10.59
4. Qunitanilla KTM at 25.16
5. Price, KTM at 29.20
6. Rodrigues at 33.56
7. Svitko, KTM at 40.23
8. Faria, KTM at 40.55
9. Duclos at 50.31
10. Casteu, KTM at 1:16.52