The two-time Dakar champion Price opened the road in the 447 km test on Monday after his victory at the start on Sunday, but fought on a sand dune-heavy route and ended up on 28th. Place, exactly 32 minutes behind Barreda.
The Australian was also hampered by a minor problem with his KTM’s fuel system that affected him for most of the second half of the stage.
After Barreda had problems in the opening phase, he is now leading Honda team-mate Ricky Brabec, while Price is 17 minutes and 39 seconds behind 16th. Overall rank is.
But Price isn’t impressed with that deficit, saying the advantage is likely to wane between different groups of drivers if they take turns to be the first on the road.
« We only had one minor navigational glitch where we got a little lost and circled around, but I feel like I had a good day navigating and riding, » he said.
« Towards the end we had a little problem with the motorcycle, 130 km from the finish we were just missing [a little]. I had to keep switching between fuel pumps and trying to keep this thing going a bit. But about 10km to go it was cleaned and wide open so I guess it could have been the fuel pump or an injector.
« It doesn’t look good on paper, but we are definitely still in the race. I think you will see a lot of this as [drivers] walk back and forth. We’ll see how we go. «
While Price believes he is still competing, the same cannot be said for KTM teammate Matthias Walkner, whose hopes for a second Dakar title seem to be over by now.
The Austrian rider stopped early on the stage to resolve a transmission problem and finally got to work after two excruciating hours and 15 minutes spent repairing the bike.
« After 45 km I stopped at a dune, turned around and then had a problem with the clutch, » recalled Walkner. « It took me a long time to get the bike ready because the clutch was full and I had to stop some riders to help me.
« There were so many drivers [who stopped], I think it was one of the last, a really friendly Indian [Ashish Raorane], he helped me with the clutch but then I lost my tools in the sand because something has fallen.
« It’s pretty bad if it is like this on the second day. Finally riding too, when I continued I was riding without the clutch, but it was nice and I enjoyed the riding. But to fight for a podium that’s done and that makes me a little sad. «
Dakar Rally, Rallye, Ricky Brabec, Joan Barreda, Toby Price, Motorsport, CS Santosh, 2021
World news – AU – Dakar 2021: Toby Price relaxed after losing 30 minutes
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