SOUTH AMERICA. The 39th edition of the revered Dakar Rally is already living up to its well-deserved reputation seeing the second largest motor competition in the world kicking off on the South American continent at extreme altitude for the first time in Paraguay, as competitors piloting all manner of vehicles make their way at full throttle through vast expanses of impossible terrain.
As the dust settles after a gruelling day 3 of the Dakar Rally, there are four Aussies battling for coveted Dakar motorcycle category bragging rights that we need to get behind; Toby Price, Matthew Hart, Todd Smith and Rodney Foggoter.
In his first attempt at the infamous Dakar Rally in 2015, Toby Price incredibly managed to stop all the clocks at 3rd place overall. In 2016, Toby took out stages 2,5,6,8 & 9 with no less than a blistering 40-minute lead over the field.
Waring the highly prized race number ‘1’, KTM rider and New South Wales man, Toby Price is the talk of the 2017 rally as he continues to impress in his third incarnation of the Dakar Rally. After Stage 3 he placed in 9th position after initial navigation issues early on in the day.
Aussie Husqvarna FR 450 rider, Matthew Hart finished in 43rd at the end of Stage 3, but suffered a 16 minute penalty after engine problems plagued his efforts dropping him down to 47th position overall.
WRF 450 Yamaha mounted rider, Rodney Foggoter finished in a very respectable 10th on day 2, and 18th after Stage 3 at +35 minutes.
Todd Smith, KTM 450RR rider had posted a stage time that was 40th on the day an hour and thirteen minutes behind the pace.
Australian Motorcycle Competitor Positions after Stage 3
9. (1) Toby Price (KTM) +00:21:51
18. (43) Rod Faggotter (Yamaha) +00:35:14
40. (79) Todd Smith (KTM) + 01:13:08
36. (149) Matt Hart (Husqvarna) + 01:15:37
Stages Rally Dakar 2017
Monday, Jan 2, Stage 1: Asunción – Resistencia (39km timed, 454km total)
Tuesday, Jan 3, Stage 2: Resistencia – San Miguel de Tucumán (275km timed, 803km total)
Wednesday, Jan 4, Stage 3: San Miguel de Tucumán – San Salvador de Jujuy (364km timed, 780km total)
Thursday, Jan 5, Stage 4: San Salvador de Jujuy – Tupiza (416km timed, 521km total)
Friday, Jan 6, Stage 5: Tupiza – Oruro (447km timed, 692km total)
Saturday, Jan 7, Stage 6: Oruro – La Paz (527km timed, 786km total)
Sunday Jan 8, Rest Day: La Paz
Monday, Jan 9, Marathon Stage 7: La Paz – Uyuni (322km timed, 622km total)
Tuesday, Jan 10, Marathon Stage 8: Uyuni – Salta (492km timed, 892km total)
Wednesday, Jan 11, Stage 9: Salta – Chilecito (406km timed, 977km total)
Thursday, Jan 12, Stage 10: Chilecito – San Juan (449km timed, 751km total)
Friday, Jan 12, Stage 11: San Juan – Río Cuarto (288km timed, 754km total)
Saturday, Jan 13, Stage 12: Río Cuarto – Buenos Aires (64km timed, 786km total)
Stay tuned for further information and updates as the 2017 Dakar Rally unfolds in the coming days by heading to the Motorcycling Australia website and the MA Facebook page and follow @motorcyclingaustralia on Instagram.