News 20 Jan 2024

Price fifth, Sanders eighth as Dakar Rally concludes

Monster Energy Honda's Ricky Brabec scores second win in 2024 edition.

Image: Supplied.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price claimed fifth position in the 2024 Dakar Rally, with countryman Daniel Sanders finishing eighth after the race was won by American Ricky Brabec.

While Monster Energy Honda rider Brabec made it two Dakar victories to his credit – added to his maiden win from 2020 – ahead of Ross Branch (Hero) by over 10 minutes, with Adrien Van Beveren (Monster Energy Honda) completing the top three.

Price’s teammate and defending champion Kevin Benavides was directly ahead of him in P4 overall, covering 7854 kilometers covered, as 4709km of those were raced against the clock.

Price, racing his 10th edition of the world’s toughest rally-raid, delivered day after day of fast, consistent rides at this year’s event. Following a navigational error on stage one, he bounced back to steadily climb his way back up the leaderboard as the race progressed.

Securing several top-five stage results, including a runner-up finish on the final stage, Price ultimately completed the rally in fifth place, trailing teammate Benavides by less than seven minutes after over 52 hours of racing – an exceptional performance by the Dakar legend.

“For us, it’s definitely been a really tough event this year,” Price reflected. “Thankfully, it’s always a good result when you can get to the finish line in one piece at the Dakar, and here we are, happy and healthy. Looking back over the week, we were never far off the pace, just made a few too many mistakes out there and that can cost some serious time at Dakar.

“The whole Red Bull KTM team have been incredible over the two weeks and have worked so hard. It’s a shame we’ve not been able to reward them with a podium. Big credit to the top guys as well, they got it done this year, so congratulations to them.”

Image: Supplied.

Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Sanders didn’t secure the win or a podium this time around, but did gain valuable experience in the process.

With just under a month to prepare for this year’s event after multiple surgeries in 2023, he brought himself home in a solid eighth place and takes away plenty of positives.

Reminding everyone of what he does best on day one – that’s going blazing fast on a dirt bike through the desert – Sanders kicked things off nicely by posting the second-fastest time on the prologue. From there, consistent results were the name of the game before he really excelled at the end of week one to place fourth on two stages and move up to seventh overall.

The strong results continued into week two after the event’s rest day. Sixth on stage seven, stage nine then proved to be a real tough one for plenty of competitors, including Sanders. After a couple of close calls, he eased his pace to complete the special safe and sound but would lose a little time on the leaders.

Bouncing back to collect his third top-four finish on stage 10 was another impressive result, and by bringing himself and his RX 450F safely home on the final two stages to complete the Dakar, the Aussie secured eighth overall in the final standings.

“Coming in I didn’t have much preparation at all,” explained Sanders. “I broke my femur really badly eight months ago and I only had December on the bike to prepare, so all I could really do was spend as much time on the bike as possible. But we were able to get the bike good and here we are at the finish line.

“My last surgery was only three months ago and the bone still isn’t fully healed. I didn’t expect to be here back in November, so I’m really happy to finish another Dakar. It’s been a challenge and I’ve missed a lot of racing in the last two years, so my goal now is to stay healthy, then return bigger and better next year – I’ll be doing everything I can to make that happen.”

Detailed results