The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team of Toby Price, Matthias Walkner and British racer Sam Sunderland heads into next month’s Dakar Rally – that kicks off on January 3 in Saudi Arabia – determined to regain the title it lost last season for the first time since Y2K.
All three riders know what it takes to win – Aussie ace Price has won twice and Walkner and Sunderland have both taken a victory each – but a lot can happen over 12 stages and almost two weeks of racing and America’s defending champion Ricky Brabac (Honda) certainly won’t roll over for the trio.
“It’s good to be able to finally look forward to racing the Dakar Rally in just a few weeks’ time,” said Sunderland, who won in 2017 when the event was staged in South America. “Training has been really good and I’m fully fit and eager to get back to some more racing.
“I know since the last Dakar the team have been working extremely hard on improving the bike and perhaps making it more suitable for the terrain that we’ll face. It feels great to ride and the improvements should let us set it up even better than before. I’m really looking forward now to getting out there and trying it all out under race conditions.”
The team will be joined by Dakar rookie Daniel Sanders who took the final stage win at this year’s Andalucia Rally just weeks after throwing his leg over a KTM 450 Rally for the first time.