FIA World Council decisions
A number of key decisions were taken at the FIA World Council meeting that was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on December 5. Many of them referred to some...
Three years after his maiden Dakar success, Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Team/ Michelin) finished on top again to earn Michelin’s 36th victory on the cross-country classic, as well as KTM’s 18th on the trot in association with the French tyre firm. The Australian finished clear of his team-mate and last year’s victor Matthias Walkner, while Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM Factory Team/Michelin) made it an all-KTM/Michelin top three.
The gap between Price and Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing / Michelin) stood at just 1m2s ahead of the final leg from Pisco to Lima.
Despite suffering from a painful wrist sustained in a fall prior to the start, Price seemed to get stronger as the event progressed. With his KTM running on the new MICHELIN Desert Race Baja, he inherited the lead after Stage 8 following the fall of the then leader Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda Team 2019).
Although he was only fastest on the final test, the Australian reached the finish more than nine minutes clear of Walkner after chief rival Quintanilla fell shortly after the start. The Chilean dropped almost 20 minutes to the leader, relinquishing third spot to the 2017 winner Sunderland, but he recovered to finish just shy of the podium.
“This Dakar was crazy. And it’s crazy to think that I didn’t win a single stage until the very last day, but I still won,” beamed the delighted Price at the finish. “These past 10 days felt very long. It felt like five guys were riding over my wrist the whole time. It really wasn’t very comfortable but the pain disappears when you win. The joy of winning outweighs the pain.”
The result saw KTM and Michelin score their 18
Early pace-setter Joan Barreda(Monster Energy Honda Team 2019) fell out of contention when bike damage caused by a fall on Day 3 made him the first of the favourites to be side-lined.
Michelin celebrated its 36