News 11 Oct 2020

Sanders, Price go 1-2 in final stage of Andalucia Rally

Honda-mounted Benavides wins the Spanish rally event overall.

Image: Supplied.

Australian debutant Daniel Sanders has led countryman Toby Price in a KTM Factory Racing 1-2 within the final stage of the Andalucia Rally.

Sanders has switched from enduro to rally in a shock move with KTM, but has instantly displayed his capabilities and has now qualified for the 2021 Dakar Rally.

Closing out the Andalucia Rally, stage four covered a total of 233 kilometers, 210 of which were timed special held on the now familiar dirt tracks of the region. With much of the stage sharing the same route as used on previous days, navigation was less of an issue and riders were able to push harder on the fast, open terrain.

The debut of Sanders was an impressive one, proving he is more than capable of delivering accurate navigation and the speed required to mix it with the top rally racers just weeks after commencing his road book training. He was 11th overall for the week.

“I really enjoyed today,” Sanders said. “Being more familiar with the navigation, I was able to focus more and start to push. I made a few little mistakes, but all through the day there was nothing in it. I kept my head down and found a nice flow.

“Honestly, I thought I would place around the top-five mark, so to come away with the stage win feels great. I wasn’t aiming for the win and definitely didn’t want to try anything stupid, but to go fastest with most of the top guys here is really encouraging.”

Multiple Dakar winner Price was second in the stage with Red Bull KTM, claiming a provision fourth overall as he sets his sights on next year’s Dakar Rally while using Andalucia to test his latest-spec KTM 450 Rally.

“Today wasn’t too tricky, we followed a lot of the tracks we’d been over earlier in the rally and so navigation wasn’t too much of an issue,” Price said. “I feel good in myself and on the bike and so I was able to push a little harder today.

“Finishing fourth and missing out on the podium is always a little disappointing, but we’re fit and healthy with no issues and that is always the main goal. We’ve learned a lot and have been able to test a few things, so I’m really looking forward to Dakar now.”

Despite the success of KTM riders to cap-off the event, this year’s Andalucia Rally was won by Kevin Benavides (Honda) in a total time of 10h30m51s, which placed him 7m42s ahead of Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) and Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco).