Monday, April 15, 2024

2023 Rallye du Maroc: 136 riders make up FIM grid

The most recent World Rally-Raid Championship round, the Desafío Ruta 40 in late August, had ninety-nine total competitors across every class. The W2RC season-ending Rallye du Maroc‘s Rally2 category alone came so close to equating that with a whopping ninety-seven, the most in 2023 and even beating the Dakar Rally by one.

While Rally2 tends to be the largest class with its concentration of amateur and developmental riders, the Rallye du Maroc in particular frequently draws entries in excess of eighty or even ninety. The 2021 race had ninety while 2022 saw ninety-three.

By comparison, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge had the most behind Morocco and Dakar with just twenty-nine. The Sonora Rally featured fourteen while Desafío Ruta 40 had nineteen. The stark dichotomy can be simultaneously attributed to Morocco being a popular rally raid hub while the rally is typically used as a final dress rehearsal for those entering the Dakar.

To this end, many of the non-championship Rally2 riders in Morocco with their last W2RC action being the season opener at the Dakar or another one-off later in the calendar. Fabien Domas, Mathieu Dovèze, Tomás de Gavardo, and Thomas Kongshøj are among those who fall under the former, while the latter camp includes Sunier, Diego Llanos, and Modestas Siliunas. Marshall Méplon is a W2RC newcomer. Samuel Fremy, who last raced at Dakar in 2022, returns to Morocco for his first entry since 2021.

Tobias Ebster will race in Morocco for the first time after punching his 2024 Dakar Rally ticket by winning the ADDC. Javier Campos, Borja Pérez Casimiro, and Sébastien Herbet are running their inaugural championship races of the year to prepare for Dakar.

Others like Romain Bouzigon, Matthieu Jauffraud, Toby Hederics, Maxime Pouponnot, Jonathan Savel, and Carl and Craig Searles have more long-term plans with their Rallye du Maroc entries as part of their Dakar 2025 roadmap.

Forty-six Rally2 competitors are entered in the Road to Dakar subcategory, whose winner will earn free registration for the 2024 or 2025 Dakar Rally. While those like Siliunas have already been accepted for the 2024 edition, an RtD win would ease some financial burden for them. Conversely, an outstanding performance can also flip a Dakar rejection into an acceptance.

W2RC Rally3 champion Amine Echiguer will move up to Rally2. Sunier and Neels Theric, who raced at Dakar and Sonora, will lead a four-man effort for Kove Moto alongside Fang Xiangling and new factory rider Xavier Flick; the former joined the team at the Taklimakan Rally in May.

Among those fighting for the Rally2 championship, Romain Dumontier enters with a thirteen-point lead on Paolo Lucci and twenty-one over Jean-Loup Lepan.

Christian AboudSouleymane AddahriGuillaume BorneMamadou Boucoum, and Cheikh Yves Jacquemain are representing the Africa Rally Team, a nine-person programme created by the Rallye du Maroc to cultivate local rally raiders.

The expanded field also applies to RallyGP, where the usual crew has some new and returning company. Perhaps the most notable face is the return of Skyler Howes, who has traded in his blue Husqvarna firesuit for the red of Monster Energy Honda Rally Team. Alongside the five Honda factory riders, non-W2RC competitor Tosha Schareina hopes to go back-to-back after winning the DR 40.

After last appearing at Dakar, Sherco Factory Racing is back with RallyGP bikes for Rui Gonçalves, Harith Noah, and Lorenzo Santolino. The manufacturer figures to turn their luck around after Gonçalves and Noah retired from Dakar, while Santolino will try to recapture his magic from that race as he finished ninth overall.

Dakar champion Kevin Benavides and Sonora winner Daniel Sanders miss their second straight round with injuries. The former’s brother Luciano Benavides enters Morocco as the points leader with just nine points on Toby Price and fourteen on Adrien Van Beveren.

Thirteen make up the Rally3 class, which appears for the third time in 2023 after Sonora and Argentina; the Morocco effect also applies here as those rounds had a paltry three riders each. Ardit Kurtaj hopes to clinch the championship as he leads Sonora victor Massimo Camurri by twenty points; Alexander Chepurkó, the only other rider in the field to have raced in 2023, is twenty-nine points back.

Although he skipped the DR 40, Laisvydas Kancius remains atop the Quad standings with a sixteen-point advantage over Rodolfo Guillioli. Defending champion Alexandre Giroud will run his first race since winning Dakar.

CFMOTO, a Chinese manufacturer like Kove, returns after scoring a Quad podium at Abu Dhabi, with Gaëtan Martinez and Mindaugas Skudutis competing under the CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team banner. Team manager Antanas Kanopkinas will not take part due to injury sustained in a crash at the Dinaric Rally in August while Adomas Gančierius, who scored the ADDC podium, is entered in an SSV with Algirdas Talutis.

The Rallye du Maroc runs from 13 to 18 October.

FIM entry list

RallyGP

Number Rider Team Bike
1 Sam Sunderland Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing GasGas 450 Rally Factory
2 Ricky Brabec Monster Energy Honda Rally Team Honda CRF 450 Rally
7 Pablo Quintanilla Monster Energy Honda Rally Team Honda CRF 450 Rally
8 Toby Price Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 450 Rally Factory
10 Skyler Howes Monster Energy Honda Rally Team Honda CRF 450 Rally
11 José Ignacio Cornejo Monster Energy Honda Rally Team Honda CRF 450 Rally
14 Sebastian Bühler Hero MrotoSports Hero 450
15 Lorenzo Santolino* Sherco Factory Racing Sherco 450 Rally
16 Ross Branch Hero MotoSports Hero 450
19 Rui Gonçalves* Sherco Factory Racing Sherco 450 Rally
20 Harith Noah* Sherco Factory Racing Sherco 450 Rally
27 Joaquim Rodrigues Hero MotoSports HEro 450
42 Adrien Van Beveren Monster Energy Honda Rally Team Honda CRF 450 Rally
52 Matthias Walkner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 450 Rally Factory
68 Tosha Schareina* Honda Team Honda CRF 450 Rally
77 Luciano Benavides Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna 450 Rally Factory

Rally2

Number Rider Team Bike
30 Romain Dumontier Team Dumontier Racing Husqvarna 450 Rally
31 Paolo Lucci BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
32 Bradley Cox BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
33 Michael Docherty BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
34 Konrad Dąbrowski DUUST Diverse Racing KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
36 Dominique Cizeau Girault Xraids Experience KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
37 Mathieu Dovèze* BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 450 Rally Replica
38 Neels Theric* Kove Moto Kove 450 Rally
39 Benjamin Melot* Team Esprit KTM KTM 450 Rally
40 Jon Florea* Gerula Racing KTM 450 Rally Replica
41 Jeremy Miroir* Fantic Rally Team Fantic 450 Rally
43 Jan Brabec* Strojrent Racing KTM 450 Rally Replica
44 Tommaso Montanari* Fantic Rally Team Fantic 450 Rally
45 Sunier* Kove Moto Kove 450 Rally
46 Cesar Rojo* BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
48 Jeremy Poncet* Xtrem Garage Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
49 Fang Xiangliang* Kove Moto Kove 450 Rally
50 Thomas Georgin* Enduro Normandie Rally Team Husqvarna 450 Rally
51 Mathieu Girard* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
53 Thomas Kongshøj* Joyride Race Service KTM 450 Rally Replica
54 Josep Pedró Subirats* Xraids Experience Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
55 Max Bianucci* Nomade Racing Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
56 Rémy Brochart* RM Nature et Énergie KTM 450 Rally
57 Gad Nachmani* Club Aventura Touareg KTM 450 Rally
58 Dennis Mildenberger* Nomadas Adventure KTM 450 Rally Replica
59 Darren Goodman* Nomadas Adventure KTM 450 EXC-F
61 Jim Moisa* Enduro Normandie Rally Team Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
62 Frédéric Grignion* RM Nature et Énergie KTM 450 Rally
63 Javier Campos* Javier Campos KTM 450 Rally
64 Modestas Siliunas* AG Dakar School KTM 450 Rally Replica
65 Arnaud Domet* DOM Team GasGas 450 Rally Replica
66 Bertrand Domet* DOM Team GasGas 450 Rally Replica
67 Bruno Leblanc* Bruno Leblanc KTM 450 Rally Replica
69 Jorge Escobedo Gil* Pedrega Team Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
70 Jérôme Bas* Team Giroud Universal Ride KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
71 Toby Hederics* BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
72 Tomás de Gavardo* BAS World KTM Racing Team KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
73 Matthieu Jauffraud* Matthieu Jauffraud KTM 450 Rally Replica
74 Mathieu Feuvrier* Nomade Racing Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
76 Jean-Loup Lepan DUUST Diverse Racing KTM 450 Rally Replica
78 Stéphane Bouvier* Team BS Adventure Yamaha WR450F Rally Replica
79 Amine Echiguer* Amine Echiguer KTM 450 Rally
80 Mykolas Paulavicius* Mykolas Paulavicius Dakar Team KTM 450 Rally Replica
81 Jonathan Savel* Jonathan Savel KTM 450 Rally
82 Christopher Jautard* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
83 Marshall Méplon* Marshall Méplon KTM 450 Rally Replica
84 Carl Searles* Searles2Dakar Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
85 Jean-Philippe Révolte* Révolte Racing KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
86 Guillaume Martin* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
87 Damien Bataller* Team DB Racing KTM 450 Rally
88 Jérémie Gerber* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
89 Paul Costes* Nomade Racing Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
90 Adrien Costes* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
91 Samuel Fremy* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
92 Gediminas Satkus* Gediminas Satkus KTM 450 Rally Replica
93 Julien Jagu* Julien Jagu GasGas 450 Rally Replica
94 Alexandre Vaudan* Team Casteu KTM 450 Rally
95 Rémy Moreau* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
96 Frédéric Baudry* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally Replica
97 Maxime Pouponnet* Team Maxime Pouponnet Fantic 450 Rally
98 Fabien Domas* Drag’on Rally Team GasGas 450 Rally Replica
99 Craig Searles* Searles2Dakar Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
100 Stéphane Brunaud* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
101 Guillaume Rosier* Guillaume Rosier KTM 450 EXC-F
102 Borja Pérez Casimiro* Borja Pérez Casimiro Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
103 Loïc Peyrichout* Team LPC Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
104 Benjamin Bourdariat* RS Concept Team KTM 450 EXC-F
105 Martin Prokeš* Orion – Moto Racing Group KTM 450 Rally Replica
106 Jaromir Romančík* Orion – Moto Racing Group KTM 450 Rally Replica
107 Dušan Drdaj* Orion – Moto Racing Group KTM 450 Rally Replica
108 Julien Dalbec* Nomade Racing KTM 450 Rally
109 Diego Llanos* Xraids Experience KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica
110 Salvador Guiomar Vargas* Xraids Experience Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
112 Sébastien Herbet* Team Dumontier Racing Husqvarna 450 Rally
113 Perrick Demonceaux* Dems Machine Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica
114 Alexandre Yon* Enduro Normandie Rally Team Husqvarna FE 450
115 Adrien Roland* RM Nature et Énergie KTM 450 Rally Replica
116 Slawomir Sypien* DUUST Diverse Racing KTM 450 Rally Replica
117 Jakub Krezymon* DUUST Diverse Racing KTM 450 Rally Replica
118 Benjamin Lepelley* Team Dumontier Racing Husqvarna 450 Rally
119 Steff Rowe* # Steff Rowe KTM 450 Rally
120 Ramon Vidal Bregante* Ramon Vidal Bregante KTM 450 Rally Replica
121 John Spelier* HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
122 Weston Carr* HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
123 Fabian Von Thuengen* HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
124 Axel Mustad* HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
125 Ganzorig Chuluun* HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing Husqvarna FR 450 Rally
126 Gioele Meoni* Dakar 4 Dakar KTM 450 Rally
127 Ferran Zaragoza Rosa* Pedrega Team KTM 450 Rally Replica
128 Clément Artaud* Team Dumontier Racing Husqvarna FE 450
129 Xavier Flick* Kove Moto Kove 450 Rally
131 Jane Daniels* # Fantic Rally Team Fantic 450 Rally
133 Yael Kadshai* # Nomade Racing GasGas RX 450F
134 Christian Aboud Africa Rallye Team KTM 450 Rally Replica
136 Guillaume Borne Africa Rallye Team Husqvarna 450 Rally
137 Tobias Ebster* Kini Rally Racing Team KTM 450 Rally Replica
139 Romain Bouzigon Team Esprit KTM KTM 450 Rally Replica
Underscore – Road to Dakar participant
Bold – Junior Trophy competitor
Italics – Veteran Trophy competitor
# – Women’s Trophy competitor

Rally3

Number Rider Team Bike
150 Ardit Kurtaj Xraids Experience KTM 450 EXC-F
151 Massimo Camurri McDonald’s Rally Team KTM 450 EXC-F
153 Alexander Chepurkó Moto Technik Team Silk Rider KTM 450 EXC-F Six Days
154 Richárd Hodola Richárd Hodola KTM 450 EXC
155 Timothée Vacherand Team S-PassMoto KTM 450 EXC
156 Mathilde Delsaux Team S-PassMoto KTM 450 EXC
157 Hugues Deliège Team S-PassMoto KTM 450 EXC
158 Alexis Van de Woestyne Team S-PassMoto KTM 350
161 Jean-Luc Taormina Taormina KTM 450
162 Romain Monnot Romain Monnot Husqvarna 450 FE
163 Mamadou Boucoum Africa Rallye Team KTM 450 EXC-F
164 Cheikh Yves Jacquemain Africa Rallye Team KTM 450 EXC-F
165 Souleymane Addahri Africa Rallye Team Husqvarna 450 FE

Quad

Number Rider Team Quad
180 Laisvydas Kancius Story Racing SRO Yamaha Raptor 700
181 Rodolfo Guillioli Pepitas Racing Team Yamaha Raptor 701
182 Juraj Varga Varga Motorsport Yamaha Raptor 702
183 Manuel Andújar 7240 Team Yamaha Raptor 703
184 Semuel Desbuisson* Drag’on Rally Team Yamaha Raptor 704
185 Toni Vingut* Visit Sant Antoni – Ibiza Yamaha Raptor 705
186 Alexandre Giroud* Drag’on Rally Team Yamaha Raptor 706
187 Jérôme Connart* Team Giroud Yamaha Raptor 707
188 Mindaugas Skudutis CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team CFMOTO CFORCE 1000
189 Gaëtan Martinez CFMOTO Thunder Racing Team CFMOTO CFORCE 1000
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