Well-deserved 2024 Dakar Rally rest day after week of demanding and intense Saudi Arabia racing

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

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have enjoyed a well-deserved rest day at the 2024 Dakar Rally after a week of demanding and intense racing in Saudi Arabia. With six grueling stages remaining, Toby Price is currently fifth overall in the event standings, with his teammate, Kevin Benavides, just behind in sixth. This year’s stages have been incredibly challenging, featuring long, demanding specials and the new 48-hour chrono stage, testing every rider’s grit and endurance.
After delivering a strong prologue result, Price lost some valuable minutes due to a small technical issue on stage one. However, the Australian rebounded strongly, finishing the two-day marathon stage as the runner-up. Now lying fifth at the event’s midpoint, Price is determined to reclaim time over the remaining six days.

Toby Price: “After yesterday’s marathon stage, today’s rest day is definitely appreciated. Overall it’s not been the best first week for us – position-wise, we’re doing okay, but I’m a little further back on time that I’d like at this point in the race. As we’ve seen already at this year’s event, the gaps on each stage can be huge and it only takes a small mistake to lose a big chunk of time. For me right now, I’m feeling good. I got through the first week relatively unscathed, and the bike has been 100 percent, too. My plan for this second week is to just take each day as it comes, focus on not making any errors, and try and hunt down the guys ahead. It won’t be easy, it never is, but I’m going to give it my best shot.”

A small mistake on stage two cost Benavides around 10 minutes to his rivals. Demonstrating his experience and skill however, the Argentinian wasn’t fazed by the issue and took the fight into the following stages to steadily move himself back up the standings. Currently in sixth overall heading into week two, Kevin is feeling fit and well-placed to put on a charge over the second half of the race.

Kevin Benavides: “I think my first week has gone well. It’s been a tough week and I’m not quite where I expected to be going into the rest day. On day two, I made a mistake with my navigation and got lost, which cost me some time on the stage. That meant my start position for the next few stages wasn’t ideal, especially on the first half of the marathon stage. But I think it’s ok, we’re still in the fight and we have a big week ahead of us. I’m going to use the rest day in the proper way – to recover and regroup ahead of the final six stages of this year’s race. The goal is then to come out fighting tomorrow, attack the stages, and do my best.”

Andreas Hölzl – Rally Team Manager: “The whole team has done an amazing job on the first week at this year’s Dakar and have undoubtedly earned their rest day. Toby is riding well, and is lying in a good position, and Kevin is just one place behind him. It’s true that we’re on the back foot a little with the times, but there is still a long, long way to go. The good news is, both riders are fit and uninjured, and both know what is needed to take the fight right to the end of the event in order to claim victory. The whole Red Bull KTM team will continue to work hard in week two and hopefully we can complete the rally with some strong results.”

The 2024 Dakar Rally resumes on Sunday, January 14 with the longest stage of the event. Covering a total of 873 kilometers from Riyadh to Al Duwadimi, riders will face a technically demanding timed special of 483 kilometers.

Provisional Standings – 2024 Dakar Rally (after 6 of 12 stages)

1. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 27:11:21
2. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 27:12:12 +0:51
3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 27:20:42 +9:21
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHL), Honda, 27:25:35 +14:14
5. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 27:38:21 +27:00
Other KTM
6. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 27:39:54 +28:33

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