Australian motorbike champion is airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after a horror crash during the world’s most dangerous race
- Toby Price withdrawn from race after crashing during ninth stage on Tuesday
- He was airlifted to hospital with a broken collarbone, injured arm and shoulder
- Two competitors had stopped to help him after he hit his head during the crash
- One day earlier, Price, 33, had wrapped his gashed tyre in tape and cable ties
Australian Dakar Rally champion Toby Price has been airlifted to hospital after a horror crash in the race’s ninth stage in the Saudi Arabian desert.
The 33-year-old injured his left arm and shoulder, and suffered a broken collarbone on Tuesday in the crash 155km in to the 579km loop around the city of Neom.
The two-time Dakar Rally champion also hit his head, with American competitor Ricky Brabec and British rider Sam Sunderland rushing to his aid.
Price was in the lead before the accident and his Red Bull KTM team later confirmed he would be out for the rest of the event.
Australian Dakar Rally champion, Toby Price, was airlifted to hospital after suffering a horror crash in the race’s ninth stage in the Saudi Arabian desert
Price was in the lead during the ninth stage of the race before the crash (pictured Price riding in the seventh stage)
Brabec and Sunderland both lost 15 and 14 minutes respectively while they helped the 33-year-old, but their time was later restored.
‘Toby fell and hurt his arm badly. He had no idea where he was when I got to him, so I waited until the doctors got there,’ Brabec said.
‘It’s a shame – he was definitely up there fighting for the win.
‘Every morning when we put our gear on, things like this can happen and we know it.’
Chile’s Jose Ignacio Cornejo ended up retaining the overall lead.
The crash shattered any hope Price had of winning a third championship in the Dakar Rally after taking home first place in 2016 and 2019.
Just a day earlier, the Queensland rider was forced to put his ‘bush mechanic’ skills to the test to repair a huge slash in his tyre.
The crash shattered any hope Price had of winning a third championship in the Dakar Rally after taking home first place in 2016 and 2019
Price (top) and Argentinian biker Kevin Benavides compete during Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally 2021
Price wrapped tape and cable ties around the damaged tyre hoping it would get him across the 375km route to Neom.
Riders were earlier able to swap tyres with each other, but this year competitors had to use the same set for each stage.
Price revealed that when he stopped to fuel at the 229km mark he only had one cable tie left – but remarkably finished in second place.
‘We just tried to keep momentum and not wear the tyre more than we needed to,’ Price told Motorsport.com.
‘I’m surprised it made it to the finish line, but it shows the quality and what the tyre can do. It’s done 800km as it is now, which is pretty remarkable.’
The Dakar Rally will end on Friday in Jeddah.
Toby Price is seen during the sixth stage in the 2021 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia