Price won his first Dakar Rally in 2016 when the race was held in Argentina.
“For 2019, winning the Dakar Rally was far fetched kind of a goal and a bit of a dream really,” Price said this week.
“Not too many people see what goes in behind the scenes and to come away with a win with a broken wrist we made it work and got a hold of another No.1 plate.
“2020 is going to be a completely different Dakar for us. It’s putting everyone back on a level playing field [by staging it in a new country] which I kind of think is good for the sport. It’s going to be a good change for everyone, a new race, a new look and I am excited for the challenge ahead there and what’s going to come from the race.”
The five-time Australian champion will again ride for the KTM team, with some of his teammates his biggest rivals. In 2019 KTM finished first, second and third in the bike standings at Dakar.
Teammates Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walker are his closest rivals while Joan Barreda Bort (Honda) and Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) are also in with a shot of ruining Price’s back-to-back plans.
“In the last few weeks we have been doing a lot of testing and preparation into the lead-up to Dakar so we have done some riding in Spain, we have done some in Morocco and everything is pretty much all sorted, organised and ready to go,” Price said.
“It’s hopefully going to kick off the year to a good start.
“Myself, I am feeling really good at the moment, there’s no injuries and we just need to make sure we keep that … then it’s just basically tech inspections and getting in for the race.”
The longest stage will be stage nine on Tuesday, January 14 (891km) between Wadi Al Dawasir and Haradh while the shortest is the second stage (401km) from Al Wajh to Neom.
Price is confident his ride will be well equipped for the varied terrain that racers are expecting across Saudi Arabia, which includes desert, mountains and beaches.
“We’re always constantly changing little pieces on the bike and our biggest thing is always suspension set up. WP [suspension supplier] does an amazing job with that and they’re always giving us plenty of options and trying new and different things,” he said.
Anthony is a sports reporter at The Age.