News 6 Mar 2023

Price elevates to world rally lead with third in Abu Dhabi

Final stage win lands Australian on rostrum at round two of 2023 season.

Image: Supplied.

Third-overall at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge has elevated Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price into the lead of the World Rally-Raid Championship, the Australian ending round two on a high with victory in the final stage.

Price entered the last day of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge P6 in the classification, with a clinical performance from the off-road icon in stage five seeing him swiftly climb the standings, finishing just over five minutes shy of event winner Adrien Van Beveren.

“I had to push really hard today,” Price recalled. “Opening on the long day four really knocked me back in the overall such were the conditions. I knew my only choice today was to push hard, and so I went as hard as I could possibly go for the whole 206 kilometres!

“To only just make the podium by two seconds is crazy. It shows the level of the riders at the moment in rally, with the results often coming down to seconds and not minutes – I think that’s really good for the championship. Lastly, the bike and the whole team have been great here in Abu Dhabi, working so hard to give us the tools we need. There’s a little bit of a gap now but then it’s on to Mexico for the next round.”

Weeks earlier, Price finished second in the coveted Dakar Rally and now leads the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship by four points ahead of Van Beveren, with the third round of the series, the Sonora Rally in Mexico, taking place from 22-28 April.