The Australian has taken out the first round of the 2016 FIM Cross-Country Rallies Championship.
By Hayden Gregory
Price entered the fifth and final stage of the Desert challenge needing to make up a two minute gap on Chilean Pablo Quintanilla. In a hard fought day the win could have gone to any of the three leading riders, but it was Price who pulled through for a much deserved victory.
The 2016 Dakar champion led home team mate Sam Sunderland in second place with Quintanilla a further six minutes off the pace in third. These standings would reflect the final leaderboard for Abu Dhabi with Price taking victory in his first attempt.
“Today it was a race from start to finish and we were really pushing all the way to the finish. That’s what I enjoy most and I had to work for it. We were really on the gas. Now we just have to keep going this way,” Price commented.
Sunderland was pleased with a second place result and remains confident heading into the second round at Qatar.
“But in the end it was 1-2 with Toby and me and everything went well, even though it was pretty tortuous on the last day. The team has been great all week and the bike has been awesome. So now we have to do it all again in the next round in Qatar,” Sunderland said. “What was really important for me was that everything was fine with my injured leg and that we now have the first event in the bag.”
The second round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies Championship will take place in Qatar where riders can expect much different conditions to those experienced in the Liwa Desert.
Results Stage 5 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2016
- Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 2:48:17 h
2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, +2:09 min
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, +6:08
4. Pela Renet (FRA), Husqvarna, +11:53
5. Helder Rodrigues (POR), Yamaha, +12:49
Final Standings Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2016
- Price, 18:18:24 h
2. Sunderland, +2:11 min
3. Quintanilla, +3:23
4. Mo. Al Balooshi (UAE), KTM, +38:38
5. Renet, +29:30