Rough and demanding ninth stage at 2024 Dakar Rally

Toby Price - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 2024 Dakar Rally

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has secured a top-four result on the rough and demanding ninth stage at the 2024 Dakar Rally. His teammate, Kevin Benavides, also delivered a solid ride on the 417-kilometer special, opening much of the route, to finish in sixth place.

Stage nine at the Dakar led riders from Ha’il to AlUla. Totaling 639 kilometers, the long day in the desert challenged competitors with a series of fast tracks and rocky pistes. Navigation proved key to a strong result, with riders forced to take extra care of their roadbook notes, especially when racing across the rocky plateaus encountered on the special.

Fifth into the stage, Price immediately set about chasing down the four riders ahead of him. Making up excellent time to kilometer 110, the KTM 450 RALLY racer was comfortably inside the top five on the timesheets and looking to improve further. A small mistake unfortunately cost the Aussie several minutes as he made his way back to the correct route. However, with other riders making similar errors, Toby was able to get his head down and deliver a solid pace from there to the finish. Completing the day in fourth, Price retains his sixth-place position in the provisional overall standings.

Toby Price: “Stage nine is done and I’m really happy with how I rode today. The terrain was tricky – there were lots of rocks, but in the sun, it made it hard to see properly and judge what was lying ahead. I made one small mistake on one WPC and lost some time, but other than that, everything went smoothly. That’s one more stage ticked off with three more to go. I’m having fun out there, so everything is good.”

Opening stage nine was never going to be easy for Benavides, especially with the timed special throwing up several complex roadbook notes. Despite making a small mistake early on, the reigning Dakar champion was able to quickly regroup and move himself back to the front. Collecting three minutes and 26 seconds in bonuses, Kevin finished in sixth and holds on to sixth place in the overall standings.

Kevin Benavides: “It’s been a tough stage today, not the easiest one to lead out on, but I did an okay job. I made a mistake at kilometer 45 and that meant I lost quite a lot of time and then I was caught by a couple of riders. After I got back on track I really tried to push, and was able to catch up with the two guys ahead before the refueling. From there to the finish, Adrien (Van Beveren) and I opened the whole stage, with both of us taking turns to lead. It was a challenging stage, but I think we did a good job.”

Provisional Results – 2024 Dakar Rally, Stage 9

1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 4:36:36
2. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 4:37:18 +0:42
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Honda, 4:41:05 +4:29
4. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 4:43:20 +6:44
5. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 4:43:45 +7:09
Other KTM
6. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 4:44:49 +8:13

Provisional Standings – 2024 Dakar Rally (after 9 of 12 stages)

1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 40:53:49
2. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 41:00:58 +7:09
3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 41:05:05 +11:16
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 41:07:35 +13:46
5. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 41:21:51 +28:02
Other KTM
6. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 41:29:01 +35:12

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