Toby Price Tackles Stage 12 at Dakar Rally

Jean Turner | January 16, 2015
Toby Price Stage 12 winner!

Australian KTM’s Toby Price took a big win today – his first stage victory in his first-ever Dakar Rally. Photography by RallyZone Bauer/Barni

After an incredible run at his first-ever Dakar Rally where he currently sits in third overall, the only thing missing for Australian Toby Price was a Stage win in his maiden effort. The KTM rider pulled it off today as he led Stage 12 from start to finish, taking a big win on one of the longest stages of the rally. Price’s win solidified his third-place standing, a point he only took two days ago from Pablo Quintanilla, who remains fourth overall.

“It’s my first go at the Dakar, but like we say we’ve still got one day to go,” said Price, still humble in his remarkable effort. “Anything could happen and at this stage, everything is just feeling good. We’re enjoying it, so it’s been a good experience. There have been a lot of highs and lows and good learning curves as well as a few mistakes, but we’re trying to fix them as best we can and get to the finish line. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow.”

Behind Price, the HRC duo of Joan Barreda and Paulo Goncalves came in second and third today. Despite Goncalves’ finish, it was barely enough to put a dent in Marc Coma’s lead. The Red Bull KTM rider continues to dominate the standings by nearly 18 minutes with only one day remaining. Though he is still cautious, Coma is glad to have a very significant day behind him.

“It was not an easy day with 300km today,” Coma said. “There was a lot to lose and it was important to not make any mistakes or crash and just arrive at the finish. To find the balance to ride like that is not easy, but I am happy. The end is getting closer now. The young riders are pushing a lot, so I have to use my energy. We spend all year preparing to arrive here in good shape, so it’s time to spend that energy.”

Goncalves is also acutely aware that it’s not over yet. The HRC rider has put in a consistent and tremendous effort, and plans to finish that way tomorrow in one last push for the win.

Paulo Goncalves Stage 12

Although he is nearly 18 minutes outside of the overall lead, HRC’s Paulo Goncalves remains cautious and optimistic heading into the final day of the Dakar Rally. Photography by HRC.

“There’s still one day of racing left,” said Goncalves. “I’m in second place, but there’s no guarantee that I’ll remain there. Anything can happen, either positively or negatively. But effectively, I’m happy for myself and the entire Honda HRC team for the work we have done. Joan Barreda had a strong lead before the stage at the salt lake in Uyuni. He lost his place, but we’ll finish the Dakar on the podium, and that’s a very good thing.”

Tomorrow riders will head into the final stage of the rally, with a short 108-mile (174km) special and a 198-mile (319km) liaison as they steer back toward Technopolis in Buenos Aires for the finish of the 2015 Dakar Rally.

Dakar Motorcycle Results – Stage 12

1. Toby Price (KTM)
2. Joan Barreda (Hon)
3. Paulo Goncalves (Hon)
4. Ivan Jakes (KTM)
5. Stefan Svitko (KTM)
6. Marc Coma (KTM)
7. Helder Rodrigues (Hon)
8. Pablo Quintanilla (KTM)
9. Frans Verhoven (Yam)
10. Laia Sanz (Hon)

Provisional Standings After Stage 11

1. Marc Coma (45:08:32)
2. Paulo Goncalves (+17:49)
3. Toby Price (+25:18)
4. Pablo Quintanilla (+36:57)
5. Stefan Svitko (+46:43)
6. Ruben Faria (+1:50:39)
7. David Casteu (+1:55:09)
8. Laia Sanz (+2:19:37)
9. Ivan Jakes (+2:21:29)
10. Oliver Pain (+3:04:21)

Dakar Rally Photos

Dakar Rally News

Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.