Toby Price was fastest in Saturday’s prologue and won the first and the fifth stages of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Toby was consistent throughout the entire rally and stayed in the top three throughout the five-stage event.
It was a week where the character of the rally was set by the desert landscape. Five days of riding on the dramatic yellow sand dunes where tracks from the starting riders were clearly visible, largely relieved competitors of many navigating duties, often an important and possibly decisive factor in rally raid. Because of this, the rally also developed into a battle of tactics where a stage winner was left with the task of opening the track, while riders behind could easily follow the tire tracks in the sand dunes.
Toby Price (AUS) KTM 450 Rally Factory
That was good riding. I had a couple of close calls today. I was pushing hard from the start. I was riding most of the time with Sam, which wasn’t the plan at first. We tried shaking the guys behind us, but weren’t really able to.
Toby will now take a week’s break before heading for the Sealine Rally in nearby Qatar, a race that will be in very different conditions. It will take competitors almost entirely off piste and over hard stony ground where it will be necessary for them to be fast and alert, especially with their navigation skills.
Results Stage 5 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2016
1. 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
1. 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
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