Looking back at Toby Price's last campaign at the prestigious off-road event.
As the 2018 Penrite Hattah Desert Race looms this weekend, we take a look back at Australian off-road hero Toby Price’s last time at the popular event, which saw him chalk up victory number five in the deep sands of Victoria.
Just months after finishing on the podium at the prestigious Dakar Rally, which essentially launched his career on the world stage, Price piloted KTM’s off-road weapon, the 500 EXC, under KTM’s Enduro Racing outfit.
Donning the number one, Price set the tone for the weekend during Saturday’s Prologue, which saw him emerge fastest over a highly-competitive field.
The now Dakar champion demonstrated why he’s earned the King of the Desert moniker, blitzing the field from flag to flag to capture a stunning three-minute victory over then teammate Tye Simmonds and Yamaha’s Josh Green.
“Another win today and I’m stoked,” expressed an ecstatic Price post-race. “It was a good run, after winning the Prologue yesterday we started off from the front and I think that definitely helped, the dust was thicker in the first part of the race before the track chewed and exposed a little bit of moisture in the sandy parts.”
The New South Wales native attributed a charge in the opening laps of the gruelling affair to allow him to bridge a gap over the field, ultimately seeing him settle into position and crossing the line in P1.
“In the first couple of laps I put on a really good charge and pulled a bit of a gap,” he continued. “And after that I settled into a comfortable pace in and felt really good. The whole team worked really well once again and gave us the equipment that we needed to get a 1-2, as well as a fourth place position and Louis in eighth.”
In typical Price fashion, he credited the tireless work of the crew who ensured he flawlessly made his way through the four-hour journey, including the preparation in the lead up to the event.
“It’s unreal,” he said. “The whole crew did a really good job on our pitstops, Mick Carusi did a really good job prepping all our bikes and Grabbo has done an amazing job is always. The whole team, Mick and Trav and Blizzard, those guys have done in a real job.”
A member of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team and a regular in the FIM World Rallies Championship, Price unfortunately won’t be making an appearance at the 2018 edition, which will be left the hands of his former rivals in the Australian off-road scene.