Aussie begins defence of Dakar Rally title

KTM motorbike rider Toby Price, of Australia.
KTM motorbike rider Toby Price, of Australia. Martin Mejia

MOTORSPORT: Australian Toby Price has made a reasonable start to his title defence of the motorbike category at the Dakar Rally, finishing 17th in the first stage from Asuncion in Paraguay to the Argentinian city of Resistencia.

The New South Welshman was 11th through the first checkpoint on the 38km stage but then dropped down the field.

"There were a lot of people right near the track and a bit of wildlife, so I just took it nice and easy and we're through day one so far,” Price said.

"It wasn't too hot and we started nice and early before it started to heat up too much. We're now through the stage so we can just cruise back to the bivouac tonight.

"Tomorrow, it just depends on where we are. It's going to be a bit of a difficult day. We've just got to keep our heads switched on and keep on moving through and trying our best so it should be pretty good.”

France's Xavier De Soultrait took the stage win in the motorbike category, while Nasser Al-Attiyah took the new Toyota HiLux to a stage win on its debut.

The Qatari driver outpaced all others by almost half a minute, heading Ford Ranger driver Xavier Pons and Toyota teammate Nani Roma.

Topics:  dakar rally toby price