Toby Price is currently sitting in fifth place after the second stage of the Dakar Rally, after travelling west from Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan, Argentina.
Stage two featured the longest special stage of the race at 518km. Price, starting the day in 11th place managed make his way through the field.
Dakar Rally stage one winner Sam Sunderland had difficulties and ended up losing two hours, while defending Dakar Rally champion Marc Coma was forced to limp to the finish because of a problem with his rear tyre.
Price said, “Today was incredibly hot in the sand dunes and we all got cooked, other than that it was all good and extremely happy to be sitting in fifth position after stage two.
“Everything went well for the first 300km but then the navigation got more difficult so I slowed down to make sure we stayed on top of the road book.”
The solid finish puts Price around 11 minutes behind Spaniard Joan Barreda, who is currently leading the motorcycle placings.
Price has had success over the last 12 months, taking Finke, Hattah and AORC championship wins, along with a top-eight finish in a round of the World Rally Championship in Morocco, and a stonking ISDE performance in which he dominated the E3 category and went within 45 seconds of winning the world’s biggest enduro event overall.
This winning spree kicked off just over a year after a seemingly career-ending broken neck, but Price is still proving beyond all reasonable doubt that he has fully recovered.
The third stage from San Juan to Chilecito is 657km with a 220km special, where riders will pass through red Earth tracks, along with some of the steepest peaks and canyons in Argentina.
Dakar Rally Stage Two
Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan – 625 km
1. Joan Barreda, ESP, Honda at 5 hours 46.06
2. Paolo Goncalves, POR, Honda at 6 minute 13
3. Ruben Faria, POR, KTM, at 9.16
4. Jordi Viladoms, ESP, KTM, at, 9.20
5. Toby Price, AUS, KTM at 9.42
6. Matthias Walkner, Austria, KTM, at 11.25
7. Helder Rodrigues, POR, Honda, at 11.35
8. Marc Coma, ESP, KTM at 12.32
9. Jeremias Israel Esquerre, CHI, Honda at 15.49
10. Juan Pedrero, ESP, Yamaha, at 16.45
Overall Standings after Stage 2
1. Barreda 7 hours 06.44
2. Goncalves 4 minutes.37
3. Faria 10.37
4. Viladoms 11.24
5. Price 11.32
6. Coma 12.03
7. Walkner 12.26
8. Rodrigues 13.26
9. Israel-Esquerre 16.24
10. Pedrero 19.34