Sunday, June 23, 2024

FIM Bajas World Cup finalised, aligns with FIA after Dubai International Baja tweak

After a lot of midseason shuffling, the 2023 FIM Bajas World Cup is now set (probably).

On Wednesday, the FIM confirmed it will align with the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and move the Dubai International Baja back a day, making it run from 10–12 November instead of the original 9–11 November. The Dubai Baja has had its date changed multiple times, first set at 1–3 December as the season finale before the FIM swapped that slot in March with the Jordan Baja, a move that the FIA emulated.

Since 2022, both Bajas World Cups have followed a pattern of two races in the Middle East, a slate in Europe, and ending with two more in the former region. This was intended to follow the World Rally-Raid Championship‘s own schedule model that begins with the Dakar Rally, heads to non-desert events, then returns to sand and dunes at the Rallye du Maroc in October. Dubai is often used as one last dry run for Dakar.

The FIA and FIM World Cups have four races together: the Saudi Baja, the Qatar International Baja, the Baja España Aragón, and the Jordan Baja. The Baja Aragón also received a scheduling tweak that condensed a three-day weekend into two due to Spanish elections on Sunday.

With the calendar set at eight races, riders can drop their two worst performances from their final championship total. If the season had six or fewer rounds, every finish would have counted.

Revised 2023 FIM World Cup dates

# Race Country Date
1 Saudi Baja* Saudi Arabia 2–4 February
2 Qatar International Baja* Qatar 16–18 March
3 Baja TT Dehesa Extremadura* Spain 14–16 April
4 Baja España Aragón Spain 21/22 July
5 Hungarian Baja Hungary 10–12 August
6 Baja do Oeste Portugal 6–8 October
7 Dubai International Baja United Arab Emirates 10–12 November
8 Jordan Baja Jordan 23–25 November
* – Already run