Red Bull KTM factory rider and Dakar Rally 2016 winner Toby Price has re-confirmed his “King of the Desert” status at home in Australia by winning the Tatts Finke Desert Race, the most important offroad race in the country. Riding a KTM 500 EXC, Price equaled the record of five wins in the motorcycle category and also added the ‘Iron Man’ touch to the competition by also finishing second in the car category.
Speaking to reporters after the event Price commented: “It’s amazing, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d get five. It was a wild old week that’s for sure, and people were definitely second guessing what I was going to do on the bike. But I had a point to prove and I wanted to make sure I got that fifth on the bike.”
And reviewing the whole weekend, he added: “It’s a bit of a surreal feeling to have tied the record out here for the most wins. I’m pumped, and just glad the whole program we put together went to plan, we were on the podium in the truck and then won the bike leg. It’s been an amazing weekend. I’m not scared of failure, I like to put myself out there on the edge, and set myself challenges. Sometimes it doesn’t happen, you can’t succeed all the time, but I didn’t want to let anybody down here, so I just held that thing on the stop all the way down to prove I was capable of doing the car and then doing faster times than I ever have on the bike.”
The race, deep in the Australian outback is a 480km two-day journey from Alice Springs in the center of the continent to Finke and return. Toby’s teammates in KTM Australia’s Desert Racing Team, Tye Simmonds and David Walsh, completed an all-KTM podium at this spectacular event. Toby Price was also the first rider ever to drop below the three-hour 50 mark on his KTM 500 EXC when he competed the journey in a blistering 3:46:55, with Simmonds the only other rider to do so at 3:49:42 – slashing almost 10 minutes of his 2015 rookie run.
Price’s ‘Ironman’ attempt involved airlifting him by light aircraft from the finish back to the start after his first race to compete in the motorcycle discipline. As well as his win in the motorcycles, he and his co-driver were first home in the truck division to be classified second overall in the mixed car/truck category.
Finke, a race deeply colored by the red Australian dust, was at the finish a definite shade of KTM ‘Orange’. Four of the top six finishers and ten of the top 20 riders were on machines of the Austrian brand, while KTM riders won five of the eight motorcycle classes. Even KTM Australia’s National Brand Manager Tam Paul pulled off a victory in the Veterans 45 Years And Over class on a KTM 450 EXC.
Results Tatts Finke Desert Race 2016
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:46:55 h
2. Tye Simmonds (AUS), KTM, +2:47 min
3. David Walsh (AUS), KTM, +5:16
4. Daymon Stokie (AUS), Honda, +7:17
5. Beau Ralston (AUS), Yamaha, +14:24
6. Luke Hayes (AUS), KTM, +31:30
10. Nathan Trigg (AUS), KTM, +39:41