Thursday, November 30, 2023

Jonathan Savel eyes Dakar Rally debut in 2024

Jonathan Savel hopes to take on the Dakar Rally for the first time in 2024, particularly by throwing himself in the deep end and competing in the Malle Moto class.

Known as Original by Motul at Dakar for sponsorship reasons, Malle Moto is regarded as the most difficult category of the Rally as riders compete on their own without assistance from teams and are limited to certain supplies.

Savel mainly races in Belgian Endurance-Cross, the domestic enduro bike championship of his native Belgium, with a decade of experience. He finished twenty-fourth in the 2022 standings alongside brother Sébastien Savel.

So far into 2023, he has placed much of his training on the Hellas Rally Raid that begins this weekend. Held in Greece from 21–28 May, the Hellas Rally Raid is an amateur event that riders can use to gain further experience ahead of more serious endeavours. Savel will compete on the #9 KTM 450 RR in the FIM 3 category; he is one of sixty-three entrants in Malle Moto.

Following Greece, his main focus will be the Rallye du Maroc on 12–18 October. As the final round of the World Rally-Raid Championship, the Moroccan event will basically serve as a final test for Savel, whose entry will be in the Road to Dakar classification.

The Road to Dakar, which includes all four non-Dakar legs of the W2RC, is intended to reward top performing competitors without prior Dakar experience with free admission to the race. Tobias Ebster qualified for the 2024 Dakar Rally by winning the Rally2 class at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in March, while Francisco Alvarez and Sara Price were the best RtD racers at the Sonora Rally last month.

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