Rallye

Price and Sanders fully focused on Dakar preparations

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Toby Price: Photo. Marcin Kin
Australians Toby Price Racing and Daniel Chucky Sanders are beginning the final stages of pre- Dakar Rally testing, as they ramp up preparations ahead of the iconic event‰Ûªs start on January 2nd.

With the 2021 Dakar Rally now just one month away, Price, Sanders and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team mates Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland have their sights firmly set on battling for the number one position at the world‰Ûªs toughest cross-country rally. In what has been a hugely disrupted year, which saw the team make only one competitive outing following the 2020 Dakar.

Looking for his third Dakar title, Toby Price will go into the race armed with the experience gained from the 2020 event and aiming to secure another strong result. Like all riders this year, Toby was forced to spend more time off the bike than he would have liked. However, after travelling to Europe towards the end of the summer, the Australian has committed to an intense schedule of training and preparation on the run up to Dakar and will remain in the Middle East testing on his KTM 450 RALLY, in preparation for the challenge awaiting him.
Toby Price: Photo. Marcin Kin
‰ÛÏObviously, it‰Ûªs been a really tough year for everyone," Price lamented. "With all the restrictions, we‰Ûªve not been able to race like we normally would. We‰Ûªve only managed to fit in one rally since the Dakar in January, which was great, but I think everyone is looking forward to getting back to some serious racing now.

"For me, I pretty much had to leave home for the last three months and won‰Ûªt be heading back to Australia until after Dakar. My base is now in Dubai and I‰Ûªll spend Christmas there on the run up to the event. It‰Ûªs great that we can get out into the dunes for testing but it‰Ûªs still a big sacrifice to make, missing out on the regular family time over the holidays.

"For the last couple of months, the team have been testing hard, things have been going well and there‰Ûªs certainly nothing better to build your fitness than time on the bike. We‰Ûªve been able to try out a lot of new things and I‰Ûªm really happy with how the bike feels. At the end of the day, I know the KTM 450 RALLY is going to get me to the finish, the rest is up to me!‰Û
Daniel Sanders: Photo. Marcin Kin
Facing his first ever Dakar, junior team member Daniel Sanders comes into the demanding race with only one cross-country rally under his belt. Joining the team in September, Sanders has endured an intense period of testing and training to get him up to speed with the skills required for success in the sport. Racing the Andalucia Rally just weeks after throwing his leg over a KTM 450 RALLY for the first time, the 26-year-old put in an excellent performance including a win on the final stage. The Dakar is far more demanding however, but the young Australian racer knows the magnitude of the challenge ahead.

‰ÛÏThe year has been a crazy one for me for more reasons than one," Sanders said. "When I got the call to come ride for the team it was really cool. I flew over to Europe with Toby and I think I‰Ûªve spent about five months here testing and learning the skills needed for rally racing.

"We raced the Andalucia Rally back in October, which was a real eye opener, but other than a couple of mistakes, I was really pleased with my pace and my navigation. Winning the final stage was great but I‰Ûªm realistic about the Dakar ‰ÛÒ I know it‰Ûªs another level completely. Testing has been going really well ‰ÛÒ every day I spend on the bike I feel more comfortable. I couldn‰Ûªt wish for better people around me either, all three of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing guys have won a Dakar ‰ÛÒ Toby has won two ‰ÛÒ and Jordi (Viladoms) has been amazing getting me up to speed in such a short amount of time. I know I have a lot to learn, but that will come with racing a few more events. Right now, I‰Ûªm fully focused on the big one in January.‰Û
Daniel Sanders: Photo. Marcin Kin

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