Hunter Dakar champion Toby Price is thankful for a rest day after suffering pain from his wrist injury on a tough stage five of the Dakar Rally.
Despite the on-going pain from his wrist, Price finished eighth on the stage and is fourth overall. He closed the gap to just three minutes and 21 seconds behind American Ricky Brabec, from the Monster Energy Honda Team.
Price’s Red Bull KTM teammate Englishman Sam Sunderland won the stage and is 59 seconds behind Brabec. However, he incurred a two minute penalty.
Chilean rider Pablo Quintanilla, from the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team, is third 2 min; 52 sec behind the leader.
Price got himself firmly back into calculations with a strong stage four in which he finished third and manage to make up 11 minutes on the lead.
Speaking after stage five, run overnight Friday Australian time, Price said it had been a really, really tough day for him.
“Starting in groups of 10 on the beach means that you not only have to fight for position with other riders, you have to keep an eye on your navigation while dodging the rocks and dust thrown up by the guys in front.
“My pace today was good but I cased out on one drop and that put a lot of strain through my wrist again.
“I was able to continue, but I am really thankful for the rest day now. I am happy to have reached the halfway stage of the rally so hopefully after a day off I will be ready to go again on Sunday.”
Price, who won the 2016 Dakar Rally and finished third in 2015 and 2018, is carrying a broken bone in his wrist into the event.
After stage four he said the rocky sections were toughest on his wrist.
“It was a long stage and a lot of it was made up of rocky tracks and rivers, they are the worst for my wrist,” Price said.
“I did have one get-off along the way but luckily not too bad. I’m not comfortable but it is the way it is and I have to work around it.
“The goal for the rest of the rally is to keep on doing what I’ve been doing and get the best result possible.”
Stage six, overnight Sunday, is 838km long with a 336km timed section.
- RICKY BRABEC: Monster Energy Honda 16H 51’ 34”
- SAM SUNDERLAND: Red Bull KTM Factory Team + 00H 0’ 59'' Pen: 2’ 00”
- PABLO QUINTANILLA: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna +00H 2' 53''
- TOBY PRICE: Red Bull KTM Factory Team + 00H 3' 21''
- ADRIEN VAN BEVEREN: Yamalube Yamaha + 00H 6' 36''
- KEVIN BENAVIDES: Monster Energy Honda + 00H 9' 01''
- MATTHIAS WALKNER: Red Bull KTM Factory Team +00H 9' 17'' Pen: 3’ 00”
- XAVIER DE SOULTRAIT: Yamalube Yamaha + 00H 18' 37''
- STEFAN SVITKO: Slovnaft Team + 00H 26' 28''
- ANDREW SHORT: Rockstar Energy Husqvarna + 00H 27' 54''